CG's Tea Party Prints Were Museum-Ready
Before most people had finished breakfast, CG designer Chris Gelinas and his team had dressed, styled, and prepped for an early start to MADE Fashion Week’s second day. As models posed for photos and took a few selfies between last minute makeup touchups, we got a sense that the women were on the way to brunch rather than a runway—and that’s exactly the vibe Gelinas wanted.
CG’s Fall/Winter ’16 collection was a masterclass in elegance, mixing textiles handmade by Gelinas himself with a color palette that swayed from delicate pinks and royal blues to rich maroons and classic New York “darker than your soul” blacks. Elbow and shoulder holes paired with understated sleeve slits and high necklines to create a silhouettes that would definitely make Chipotle give you that extra guac—for free. The star of the collection, though, were the beautiful prints that wouldn’t look out of place hung and framed at a museum. They were complimented by a beautiful collection of gemstone clips that hung on sleeves and collars to create another layer of grandeur. It all added up to a collection that was fit for a tea party at Versailles. As the models took a page from Beyoncé to line up in formation in the middle of the room, we caught up with Gelinas as he celebrated another spectacular showing.
What was this collection inspired by?
I’m always inspired by silhouette. I drape myself so it’s a very organic process. It’s really all about movement, which is why having this element of a show is important—you need to see it move. I don’t take too much reference in terms of shape, the fabric really dictates it for me.
What inspired the prints?
I really fell in love with Mark Bradford and his large scale, mixed-media collage. What I really loved the most about them was just their frenetic energy. He used really intense color, but they were often quite diffused. And there was something pretty graphic, even though it was very abstract at the same time. I’ve often done very graphic, linear prints, and I think it was just fun to do something a bit more open and abstract.
Could you tell me about the gemstones?
I’ve been working for a few seasons with this amazing artist, Pia Wüstenberg. She has a number of different mediums, but one of the things she works with is something she calls “processed paper.” She uses found paper and compresses it over weeks to these almost geological looking designs. They look very heavy and bulky. They have this otherworldly shape, but then they weight nothing.
How did that contrast with the shape of the garment?
I think it was a fun element to bring some color. The color palette was very consistent and, until we added the prints, it was quite controlled and muted. I thought it was nice to have these elements of texture.
With a lot of collections, you can’t really wear it outside of the runway. Why is it important for you to create looks that are ready to wear?
I dress for my clients and not a runway show. I think we think too much about the spectacle and the moment—these fashion moments that are instagramable. For me, I see clients here today from their late 20s to their early 70s and they’re all wearing it in their own way. I think that’s the most important thing and that’s what I focus on in my development so I hope it resonates.
It definitely looks like you could just wear it to brunch.
That’s what we plan to do.
For more CG, wait for our Runway Rundown.