“You can be innovative and sustainable yet glamorous,” said Kevin Germanier during a preview.
Kevin, you’re a master of understatement. A Zoom perusal of the designer’s studio revealed a small, ebullient fashion display with a Tinkerbell-meets-future-superhero vibe: alluring colors, sparking crystals (he has a friend in Swarovski) and curvy, ergonomically charged silhouettes.
The head-turning hanger appeal proved a mere prelude to the designer’s video presentation. Germanier’s brigade of Super Tinks accessorized the aforementioned glistening, sexy frocks with elaborate, face-obscuring, sculptural bejeweled masked headdresses. COVID-19 protection or a prettied-up S&M fantasy? Potato, po-tah-to. Outrageous glam was the point.
After a resort season of significant toning down (to be respectful of lockdown and to fuel his nascent e-commerce business), Germanier wanted to show off bit, “to go back to creativity.” So forget an old-school haute runway walk; his models writhed and gyrated around a wooden block, the better to work their clothes’ sensual sparkle — and comfort factor. Seriously. Turns out, Germanier’s iridescent provocations are marvels of construction that really move with the body. The intricate shapes were crafted from zero-waste fabric rectangles — one for a top; two for a skirt; three for a dress — that Germanier bibbidy-bobbidy-ed into supple, body-con wonders, largely via smocking — a technique inspired by his Swiss heritage. Often he added voluminous, fairy-tale puffed sleeves, and always, endless crystal and foil embellishment, to catch the light fantastic. Still, even the most glamor-loving diva dresses down sometimes — sort of. She loves jeans and a shirt, but all jazzed up with foil sequins.
As for the sustainability side, Germanier walks the walk. He worked with all deadstock — “everything is waste, even the thread” — and he used the punched-out dots from his foil embroideries for the sequins on jeans, for responsible razzle-dazzle.
“My clothes are unapologetically confident,” the designer said. “When you wear Germanier you are obviously stealing the show.” Understatement, indeed — in conversation. But on the runway? Never.