Fashion designers are often creative magpies, pecking at different themes and inspirations that they put together to ultimately tell a story. For Libertine’s Johnson Hartig, his season’s storyline didn’t start off in a linear way. “I was thinking about China, opium dens, Art Deco and my mother who died in November and was born in the 1930s,” Hartig said.
All these ideas gave birth to what felt like a very personal and jubilant collection for Hartig. He showed colorful floral print dresses with fringe and sheer black lace, black skirt suits with sequined pagoda decoration (also done in a suit with pants version for the Libertine guy), fiery-hued knit coats with his signature patchwork treatments and stacks of necklaces that had a modern flapper feeling. For the boys, a colorful mash-up of stripes on oversize knit turtlenecks with pants, a black hoodie with twinkling sequins and a pink floral appliqué bomber jacket were standouts.
Showing both men’s and women’s has become the new normal on the runway circuit, but Libertine has been showing that way for seasons.
“Our male customer is this hip-hop all-star and our female customer is a chic Upper East Side type,” Hartig said. “It’s hard to bring those two worlds together but that is how my mind works and somehow it all makes sense.” While the guy may be downtown at the club, and the girl may be uptown on the charity circuit, and the two definitely meet for a fashion tête-à-tête somewhere in the middle.
A closing look of an army green jacket with an embellishment that was a nod to the one and only Cher had the words, “Do you believe?” The answer, as the models danced down the runway in celebration, was a solid yes.