Saturday, August 31, 2013

SMITH II takes sports chic to the street with his Fall Collection

Charles Smith II and Cynthia Smoot
On Friday, August 30th, Charles Smith II hosted his first solo runway presentation of SMITH II: 33 Collection at the Blow-Up Gallery in The Shops at Park Lane.

Traditionally, design has moved from the runway down to the masses. In recent years, the trend has reversed, with designers taking inspiration from the streets and translating it up to a couture level. This is clearly the case with SMITH II whose designs reference sports themes and urban street chic.

Smith says this collection was inspired by the draping and layering common to the Roman and Egyptian cultures. 33 Collection incorporates simplicity, minimalism and modernism. He says his artistic aesthetic explores androgyny with pieces common to both men and women.

The show opened with a spectacular modern dance performance by Traiman Houston.  His performance set a dramatic tone for the runway presentation. Amongst the stylish crowd, I spied the legendary Jan Strimple (her stamp of approval is mandatory for success in this town), BLKN designer Jim Duran, Jackson, Benny Black, Jarrod Fresquez, Frank Mauricio, Juan Lerma of The Dragonfly Agency, and DFW Style Daily's Lisa Petty and Heather Lettieri.

Smith II Fall Collection

Even when a designer's aesthetic isn't my own, I can appreciate the creativity and imagination of their work. Such is the case with SMITH II.  Watching this show, I kept thinking "Who IS this girl/guy? Where are they going in that outfit?" Is this what kids are wearing at the club these days? I'm perplexed. I like Smith's creativity and it will be interesting to see how he can translate these runway looks to a broader audience. 

What I enjoyed as much as the runway presentation were the people in the audience. You can - and should - view photos from this event on Facebook.  Jan Strimple said of the evening, "I wrap my arms around a generation that doesn't try to be like one another, but instead makes a concerted effort to stand away from others as their way of standing out. Blending is not their thing. The voice that self-styling gives fearless people is part of my industry's seduction. Those who are not seduced by it's freedom are the people fearful of making mistakes with fashion. Conservative people approach it with more fear."

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Special thanks tofor styling me for this event. Check out their amazing fall collection at NorthPark Center or the Galleria.