Guest blogger, Redgi Woods (stylist extraordinaire and ReFINDefined designer), will be reporting on all things fashion from Chicago and beyond. From New York Fashion Week to the streets of the Windy City, Redgi is focused on keeping ChiTown Fashionista readers informed on the latest and greatest in the industry.
“The Bond Collection” by celebrated African American designer LaQuan Smith debuted in presentation format at The Penthouse at Hudson Hotel. The collection’s inspiration came from Smith watching James Bond films on the plane during a trip to Paris. Walter Steiger provided the shoes for the collection, with hair by Keith Neal and makeup by Metro Look. Each look is named after characters from the James Bond franchise as well as his favorite film, Boomerang. This whimsical touch makes the collection feel like pop art, and ties in perfectly to the approach to the collection. As Smith mentions, “I wanted to put a fun spin on the collection. This season I really had fun creating these pieces”.
Here are some of my personal favorites.
Grace Jones (left) – Of course this is her name. The sleeves provide necessary drama and impeccable tailoring. It’s obvious that Smith is naturally inspired by women and considers their physique when making his design choices. The black wool, PVC and Mongolian fur combination is perfection and the scuba material allows for great contouring and versatility for all body types
Hollygood Head (second from right) – This body suit makes no apologies! I love when designers take risks and push the comfort zone of many consumers. When asked about “The LaQuan Smith” woman, the young designer (23 to be exact) said she is strong, vibrant and fierce. Seeing that the roster of celebrities who continue to flock to Mr. Smith for custom pieces includes Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, I’d say he has the “LaQuan Smith woman” pegged just right!
Xenia Onatopp- The vintage lover in me can’t help but be attracted to the peplum cut. Smith’s modern approach, with the raw black Pony fur material, makes the look seasonless and approachable for many consumers.
Lady Eloise (left) – “There is an element of sophistication, edge, strength and sexiness that these women embody. This season my collection is just a tribute to the women who embrace that”, says Smith. The floor length black jersey knit gown embodies this approach perfectly and exudes a level of vivaciousness that matches the Boomerang character for which it was named.
Vesper Lynd (right)- This season, LaQuan consulted with Nija Furs, the first black owned furrier company in the nation. They have worked with everyone from Jean Paul Gaultier to P.Diddy. Here, the use of black wool and Mongolian fur created the perfect glam version of the little black dress. The placement of the fur creates a timeless dropped waist look. The simplicity of the crew neck adds versatility, as it allows the consumer to dress the look up or down with a quick change of shoes and accessories.
Strangé (right) - “Strangé, Grace Jones character in Boomerang, was crazy and beautiful. I watched that movie everyday when I worked on the collection”, Smith explains. This black PVC vinyl mini dress is equally edgy and sexy. I definitely appreciate the balance created by the high slit coupled with the turtleneck neckline.
So what do you think? Does this collection scream Boomerang and Bond?
Collage and “Hollygood Head” photo by Monica Cohen of THECOHENSIDE
All other photos by Mari J Brooklyn