For fall, Andrew Gn said his inspiration had been two-pronged. The first was the 1976 George Cukor film “The Blue Bird,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Jane Fonda, (“It was a flop when it came out but I love the costumes,” he admitted backstage). The second was fairy tales and mythologies.
Cuts were uncomplicated. Of course, in Gn’s fairy tale lineup, forget pedestrian silver linings. The designer worked the season’s motifs with a rich hand, embellishing tweed with velvet appliqués outlined in beading, revisiting prints in acid tones or going for a metallic floral brocade. Dragons and griffins climbed up the front of capes. There were maximalist oversize chandelier earrings and bejewelled elements. Stars burst on the back. Even the simplest V-neck kimono dress is edged in gold lamé.
As a man of multiple cultures and a collector at heart, Gn appreciates how stories circulate. So, too, would details like Byzantine jewels, paisley prints, or embroidery travel across continents and right into his playbook. “Tales and folklore were actually brought by merchants, who went from one city to another, taking the stories with them. There, people would listen to them and make their own versions. That way, they didn’t die,” he said.
Such opulence could easily have felt as OTT as Taylor’s Queen of Light character, glittering headpiece and all, but Gn is a consummate storyteller who knows just where the limit of over-embellishment is — even if he did toe that line on occasion.