April 26, 2001

Counter Couture

Print More

A talented crew of Cornell designers proved that great minds do not think alike at the CDL 2001 Show last Saturday. Although prevalent influences of the past fashion seasons were unmistakenly seen, the fashionable fixations of the day were skillfully and creatively adapted in many of the full line and theme line pieces. Each costume to careen down the runway formed a characteristically Cornell collection. The eclectic mix of the Cornell community certainly emerged with pieces ranging from intellectual to fantastical, artistic to scientific, kitsche to impeccably crafted, and cosmopolitan to rustic.

Several students with full lines stood out. Lucille Whitaker ’01 showed an astounding collection of feminine silk garments with hand painted floral patterns reminiscent of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass designs. The inventive designs of Lindsey Lyman-Clare ’01 revolved around the idea of tattoo art. Each prehistorically flavored piece featured a subtle and intriguing fossil ‘tattoo’ that was incorporated flawlessly to embellish the overall look of a strong and alluring female. Jonathon Moore ’01 authored an impressive menswear ensemble of a poncho style top and leather pants. His creation was refreshingly masculine for a runway piece, yet preserved the artistic appeal and craftsmanship of couture. The thought-provoking and impressive handiwork of Casandra Lopez ’01 was composed of relatively simple garments of modern, geometric cuts adorned with beaded sashes, chockers, and belts that featured political and inspiring messages. The meaningful hand-beaded accessories that read words such as ‘Think’ only enhanced the strength of the shapes of the pieces.

The theme lines were a testament to the influential looks that have come down the runways of the greatest houses in past seasons. This is a compliment to the construction capabilities of the majority of designers, but also encouragement that these younger CDL members continue to nurture their own creative juices. Many pieces seemed to take from the styles of designers such as Prada with many playfully colorful prints decorating feminine skirts and dresses made of light and sheer fabrics. Of course, the show’s theme concerning the brief existence of fashion encouraged designers to use light and translucent materials and the theme line succeeded in its purpose.

The show in sum was an interesting dialectic not only on the functions and boundaries of fashion, but also on the various experiences and sensibilities of the designers themselves. With every collection or ensemble illuminated by the brilliant white lights of the minimal stage, came a new character or archetype that impressed the audience not only with a strong presense and persona, but with its morphic beauty as well. And contrary to the age old adage, the beauty of the collections was not skin deep. Many students flexed their engineering muscle by creating clothing with exquisite drape, cut, and construction. In all, there was nothing amateur about this year’s production. The student signature that marked the CDL 2001 Show only enhanced the art and inspiration of the event.

Archived article by Laura Thomas