THE BLOG

Catherine Malandrino: A Woman of Our Time

02/12/2013 06:21 pm ET | Updated Apr 14, 2013

Those moments when clothes can succinctly reveal your soul to the world can be so powerful.

In 2003, I bought a pair of Catherine Malandrino black pants ruched below the knee with built-in boot covers from her NY Canyon collection at Century 21. I felt like a badass. A real outlaw. And I was. They were magic pants -- fitted, high-waisted, with boot covers to hide my non-existent spurs and whenever I wore them, people would gravitate to me and ask me a spectrum of questions about things they thought I'd know like, "has the best music ever written been already written" or "how did World War I begin" or "what is the password for Milk and Honey?" I wore these magic pants until their death, which occurred a few years ago inside of Hiro Ballroom at a Daft Punk concert, when the thinning rear fabric split from a few too many booty shakes and so tied my jacket around my waist for the rest of the night.

Malandrino's clothes are always created with a purpose, with a touch of renegade, intellect, and narrative. At this week's Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week, her fall 2013 collection, "La Normandie" brought me to my knees. Two artists, Émile Ruhlmann and Kazimir Malevich, both born in 1879, inspired the collection, Malandrino said in an interview. Emile Ruhlmann, an exquisite French art deco furniture and interior designer known for his "precious pieces" that used many rare forms of wood making use of simple forms and "imperceptible curves." His designs are quiet, disciplined, and simply aesthetic. While Russian Kazimir Malevich, one of most prolific abstract artists of the early 20th century, created geometric compositions that were unapologetically irreverent, political, and demanding. Both of these men were great authors of their time.

And Malandrino, one of the great authors of our time has created an original, non-derivative collection linked subtlety to her muses. An urgent narrative-Malevich with Suprematism, Ruhlmann with defining timeless design, and Malandrino, creating "moments of sensuality," links all these artists.

Malandrino

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