Against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized world, Roksanda Ilincic said she’d taken her cues for her latest collection from the idea of “different cultures meeting and talking to each other.” Drawing influence from Japan, China and the West, the designer, speaking after her show Monday morning, added that she’d imagined a “woman warrior.”
But the collection wore its global influences lightly, with Ilincic filtering them through the prism of her strong, feminine aesthetic. Fluid silk dresses had a vague air of kimonos, while leather, obilike belts cinched in dresses and skirts, but the overall effect was fresh and modern, rather than overly referential.
This modernity was underlined by the striking colors. Rich shades of red dominated, with Ilincic noting that she’d been inspired by the intense palette of Mark Rothko’s paintings. An ankle-grazing, reddish-brown silk skirt was worn with a smocklike top in color blocks of bright red, brownish red, black and yellow. And one shearling-trimmed, burnished red coat, worn over a silk dress printed in abstract shapes in shades of reds, had a protective air. At times, Ilincic spliced these deep shades with injections of unexpected, pastel shades, as in a pale, cornflower blue silk smock top worn with pinkish-red, wide-legged pants.
Indeed, there was both a softness and strength to the lineup, which saw models parade out to the strains of Michael Nyman’s piano, as the renowned composer performed on a grand piano set up at one end of the runway. And at times, Ilincic’s powerful muse even entertained a touch of whimsy, with sprinkles of sequins and beading embroidered in arty, abstract shapes on a fluttering, bias-cut skirt, or on one deep-red bustier statement gown, with a tiered, sweeping train.