This season, many designers stepped away from the Lincoln Center tents and into other parts of New York City to present their Fall/Winter collections (perhaps a new NYFW trend in the making).
Layana Aguilar was one of those designers.
“Even though I’m Brazilian, I’m Latina, I feel like I was always meant to be here in New York, because I have this edge that we don’t have too much (of) in Brazil,” Aguilar said. “I’m so thankful that I experienced both cultures because I can combine them and come up with a great recipe for my fashion.”
Aguilar set up shop in an intimate setting at SoHo’s Four81 gallery. The Season 11 Project Runway designer had lots to smile about Tuesday night. As a proud wife and mother of a 7-month old baby boy, Aguilar created a brilliantly fresh collection inspired by them. Her solo NYFW debut revolves around the “balance of life.”Aguilar said her previous work focused mostly on sex appeal, but her new Fall/Winter BLOOM 2014 collection implements a broader range.
“I wanted to just make clothes that translate that sense of freshness but still like the cool girl,” Aguilar said, adding that the collection complements her current lifestyle, “I want to be cool; I’m a designer, I want to be sexy; I’m a wife and I want clothes that are comfortable because I have a baby and I’m always on the go.”
The collection is a mix of burgundy, pastel pink, gray, beige and black – and also includes original, graffiti-inspired prints. Aguilar layered some pieces, while others stood on their own as color-blocking statements. There was a clearly defined contrast of bondage rocker-chick meets girly-girl. This was done through use of dark versus light colors and boxy versus fitted silhouettes.
“I like structured clothes. I’m all about hard and soft, so I pair a lot with chiffon and leather. I add little zippers to add the rocker-edge to it.”
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Aguilar’s collection was the use of neoprene fabric – reminiscent of scuba and snorkeling suits (but so much chicer!). Other fabrics included wool crepe, charmeuse, alpaca and lambskin.
“I’m experimenting with neoprene, which is something new for my collection, but I love it. It just holds the shape so well,” Aguilar gushed.
Standouts from the FW14 collection include a violet neoprene harness dress, a color-blocked beige and black neoprene dress paired with a matching jacket and a black leather and wool fabric-blocked jacket paired with a peach neoprene blouse and black wool crepe pegged pants.
Celebrity makeup artist Karlo Karlo for beautyblender said Aguilar wanted so stray from the usual “pretty” makeup, so he incorporated a rock-n-roll edge – while still keeping it in a safe range. He describes the look as abundant eyebrows paired with a porcelain Barbie doll face.
The emphasis of the makeup was on rich berry lips. Karlo, known for creating custom blends with makeup, kicked the lips up a notch with this little trick: He combined NYX Cosmetics “Devil’s Food Cake” wine-colored butter gloss with the darkest colors from Ben Nye’s CK-11 oil-based pigment wheel to add an extra punch to the already vampy pout.
“I can’t be without my custom blend,” he said. “I can’t use anything straight from a bottle. I need to always mix it.”
To create statement eyebrows, Karlo played-up the area where the eyebrow meets the bridge of the nose for an edgier feel. He filled in the eyebrows with MAC’s Black Black and Deep Brown cream-based paint sticks using an ultra-thin natural bristle brow brush. Karlo also used NYX Cosmetics HS39 Velvet Velours eyeshadow to create a shadow-like appearance under the brow.
“The application has to be in strokes, mimicking the shadows that eyebrows create on the skin,” he said.
For cheek contouring, Karlo applied a powdered neutral-tone blush using a brush.
Flawless skin was achieved with a combination of beautyblender and Karlo’s signature custom blend foundation.
Other than the bold lips and strong, pronounced brows, the makeup palette and application was natural and muted.
Natural and relaxed hairstyles were created by Adi Nujeidat and Yaniv Levy from Y Gallery Salon. The inspiration for the casually-worn hair comes from the streets of New York, they said, adding that they don’t usually follow trends in magazines because they like creating their own trends.
“The more natural, the more powerful.”
The Layana Aguilar Fall Winter 2014 look required very little product or tools to create loose, soft waves. Nujeitdat and Levy used a Bio Ionic StyleWinder curling iron, ECRU New York Sunlight Finishing Spray MAX and New York Streets dry shampoo.
The collection as a whole effortlessly brought together a balance of shapes and colors. Aguilar said the girl she envisions wearing the collection is the girl who is cool, on-trend and “wants to be a strong presence.”
“I’m really representing the balance of life, and I’m really happy. This was a crazy journey, but I made it!” she laughed.
– Michelle Weiss