Maybe it’s the extreme freeze that New Yorkers have been coping with this winter, or possibly inspiration courtesy of “The Revenant”, the popular film from Alejandro González Iñárritu that stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the 19th century fur trapper, Hugh Glass, covered head to toe in bear skins and other animal pelts, but the crowds mobbed designer Adrienne Landau’s FW16 presentation on Seventh Avenue yesterday. Those New Yorkers without an invitation stood in a crowd outside the street level event space, snapping what photos they could with their phones of the models clad in every imaginable incarnation of fur as wearable fashion, while inside the scene was pretty crowded by 11:30, half an hour past the 11:00 AM start time. Landau and her team made great use of the huge raw space at 462 Seventh Avenue, with lighting that created a forest like effect on the surrounding walls, and just enough room left over around the stage for the focus to be all about the fur clad models.
This show was not about your grandmother’s fur coat, in storage so long it can stand up by itself when off the hanger. Landau’s designs are startling in their youthful vibe, suppleness and creativity. The designer makes use of fur as accent, as accessory and creates garments that are statements rather than just something to wear. An oversized rabbit fur bomber with fox collar and nylon sleeves, paired with a mesh tee, black velvet sweat pants and a black rabbit fur gym bag with orange nylon is the type of ensemble one expects to see après-ski in chic resorts like Chamonix, Zermatt and Aspen, yet are also right at home at a hipster dive bar on the Lower East Side. A utility jacket that is a combination of fur and canvas was paired with silver velvet wide leg pants and a silver fox messenger bag, while a cartoon leopard print coat that was paired with a black crystal sweat pant, orange trapper hat and orange nylon backpack with black raccoon fur accents would have been equally as eye catching all by itself over jeans and a basic tee.
The 30 ensembles presented were a mix of sporty and elegant, great for daytime or evening, but everything was about pure elegance. A simple jogger suit in beige rabbit fur is really anything but. A knitted silver fox fur poncho draped around the neck and fit the form so tenderly that one could imagine cuddling up in it at night in bed. Landau combines cashmere, canvas, nylon, lace, mesh, tulle, and leather with furs as various as rabbit, silver fox, raccoon, lamb and even goat hair, all to stunning effect. She even manages to make the fanny pack cool again, with a black mink and leather version as well as a dyed silver fox pack paired in a way that makes the tourist staple something chic and coveted.
The creative mind behind the presentation is Landau’s newly appointed artistic director, Saulo Villela, who, along with Landau, took inspiration for the collection from the diverse New York City culture and how they see people wearing her collection in real life. Landau lives and works in NYC, and began her artistic career as a painter. For her namesake fur collection, she is known for her glamorous ease, use of color and the juxtaposition of materials. The designer has expanded from her signature fur collection, creating a line of high-end home furnishings in addition to silk scarves, handbags and a cosmetics line. She continues to design “A by Adrienne Landau”, a faux-fur lifestyle collection sold exclusively through HSN.
For the first time since the inception of her career, Landau introduced a unisex accessories line as well as creating both a men’s and women’s ready to wear line to go with her signature fur collection, in collaboration with Villela for her F/W2016 presentation. The Adrienne Landau Collection is carried in the world’s most exclusive boutiques and department stores and is worn by celebs like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Palermo, Lady Gaga, Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner, Madonna and many more.