Marina Hoermanseder has an unmistakable signature: her defining codes of bondage, buckles and sculpted bodices formed from leather with exceptional skill. But this season, the award-winning and multitasking designer could have used an edit. An adept marketer, she’s successfully placed her motifs and actual signature — MH, scrawled in the form of a heartbeat — on everything from makeup to pink guava juice, as well as her latest collaboration, hosiery and bodycon dresses created with fellow Austrian company Wolford.
Drawing inspiration from opera divas and Victorian vamps, Hoermanseder used fleur du mal devoré velvet in flowing sheer gowns, minis and culottes to good effect. Paper-thin patent pleather in bubblegum and black was best when worked into ruffle-collared raincoats and jackets — super city slickers.
A custom calico minidress printed with her signature in baby blue was a good foil for this season’s new leather standout, a cummerbund suspender belt. Yet Hoermanseder’s vision of women felt limited to the little girl or lady of the night. In trying to push her codes further, she teetered on the edge of vulgarity. This time around, her bondage-belt and buckle pieces, which look cheekily daring in pastels and brights, in black feel more sex shop than concept store.