Sunday, September 19, 2010


Cedar Lake, Chelsea NYC

Words/Show/Backstage Images Judith Ecochard

We got to the brick-lined dance/performance space- Cedar Lake on the early side---to catch the models rehearsing their struts…and for hair/make-up.

When we got behind the curtain, a young man, we took for about 22 yrs old, gave us a pleasant hello…and introduced himself as the designer, Chadwick Bell.

One cool calm dude…

For Spring 2011, the collection bore many of what we think of as Bell’s MO---elegantly easy, tailored clothes for modern confident women…nothing screams out, no retro---just impeccably made, modern attire…

We always think of those boutiques with sharp buyers…. like the late Linda Dresner, Ultimo, Really Great Things (300 Columbus Ave, NYC) or Kirna Zabete---as logical outlets for this designer.

One thing we noticed straight off- the stunning silks…sourced from high-end French fabric houses.

“Younger looking, not so matchy, matchy’”---in the terrific “untouched shirt” 

---slouchy silk jackets in feather weight wools. Layered and interesting…a 21st century Annie Hall/YSL smoking jacket homage.

The first look-“Fumar Jacket in Ash Wool Silk, Scribe Vest in Ochre Wool Silk, Sleeveless Blouse in White Sponge Silk Georgette, Rue Trouser in Ochre Wool Silk=tres chic.

And the Cognac Capa Jacket in leather…with Gigi Blouse, in cotton, Dust Blue Wool Silk trousers--- (on left).

The color palette and certain deign elements (like the Burqua-ish  veil “modernized to not offend anybody”)--- were inspired by Bell’s good friend Gigi Stoll’s photographs of the desert in Morocco. 

(The below photo by Gigi Stoll---the burnt orange scarf wrapped around to protect the face to protect vs. blowing sand--- from the designer’s blog)

Sheer caftans like the Rooibus Caftan in Mudsilk---“as if it “was rolled around in the dirt,” beautiful prints ---in this silk dress and caftan...

The knockout last look, a sheer “Veiled Camouflage Gown in Nude Silk Georgette with oxblood Red Stacked Palette Embroidery,”

Was laboriously hand embroidered in India…like pebble stones in the sand…

Hair/Makeup---We thought fresh, dewy evening---but as the makeup team spoke Japanese, and we didn’t ---so we don’t have specific makeup tips…largely Nars cosmetics were used.

 A late model gets a team to get ready