As guests filled in to St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery for designer Raffaella Hanley’s spring Lou Dallas show there was a faint sound of someone clearing their throat playing over the loudspeaker. The sound got louder as the downtown crowd settled in and a ballerina began dancing on a stage of the church.
The sound, it turns out, was part of a piece by James K, in collaboration with Hanley, meant to explore how the mouth works and was a recording of people chewing gum. It got louder and louder as a tribe of models, each blowing gum bubbles came down the runway.
The whole thing played to Hanley’s collection of “do-it-yourself” pieces, which she called “Water Bow,” and was inspired by the idea of wading into the South Street Seaport. The thrashed looking silhouettes had a mix iridescent ruffles with sea colors. Repurposed pieces like biker shorts and knit body suits added to the sea vibe. Hanley again embellished pieces with the phrase “Think Otherwise,” her tongue and check take on a statement top. There was a lot going on but some interesting shapes and homespun craftsmanship to see.