The Godard Girls of Chris Gelinas
Presentation was brought into full focus for Chris Gelinas’ FW15 collection, a marked step away from the less dramatic showing of his previous collection. With our eyes even further locked onto this season’s offerings, the first thing that became apparent was the emphasis on texture; a well-crafted, worn aesthetic that emanated the touch of paper, wool, and silk in the tactile shards of fabric. The apparel, though familiar and most certainly ready to wear, was structured around highly unique shapes: blazers ended in wide, gaping sleeves that evoked Kabuki theatre, and blouses were tied with sashes that took on arabesques of their own from behind. With the addition of patterns that could only be described as ‘Cubic plaid’ and sunglasses that were pure Jackie O, the collection was one built upon seemingly familiar images combined into a wholly original aesthetic. We spoke to Chris backstage about the creation of this rather individualistic collection, as well as his newfound emphasis on presentation.
This was a very different presentation than last season’s, what spurred the change?
Well this year it was a formal presentation. I think of it as an evolution, there’s definitely elements that I’ve always carried since my first presentation. Mind you, this is only my fourth season so it’s still all very new, but I felt like it was a moment for me this season where I really wanted to focus on the movement of the clothes. So a full show was an important evolution for me. But at the same time, I didn’t want to lose the intimacy of what I was able to capture in this space. So it’s about trying to balance the somber mood while retaining the details of the clothes and fabric. I didn’t want it to be five minutes of girls flying by, I wanted people to take that in without having this open window of two hours.
What do you think are the most important elements to keep in mind when designing a collection?
I mean for me the most important elements are quality and fit. That might not be the most exciting answer, but that’s really what I spend the most time on. I love a ten minute show but when I see women wearing the clothes and enjoying the production that’s the most important, because hopefully that will live on for years and years. These moments are very important to me, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about and what’s been brewing in my mind for the past couple years.
Are there particular pieces you find you’re more drawn to create than others?
I think each season it varies, it’s an organic process. But maybe that will change as I do more seasons and have more experience under my belt, but I can’t really say. Some seasons I’ll start by doing all the outerwear and it evolves into other shapes. This season it happened to start with the skirts, and then moved to the articulated hem shapes then dresses and coats and jackets. It kind of helped inform the other pieces.
Last season you said your collection was built around uniformity, but that theme seemed even more present here…was that a focal point this season as well?
Well there was more focus for sure, that’s what I was trying to achieve. That and taking that uniform shape that I spent a lot of time developing for the spring collection and softening it. Maybe last season it was more about a literal uniform, while this season was about the idea uniform dressing; business dressing, power dressing. We all don uniforms for different scenarios in our daily lives, so it’s interesting to me to imagine that, amplify it, distort it, just have a little fun with it.
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