Inspired by the 1995 film “The Bridges of Madison County” and a visit to the bridges themselves, Finnish designer Paola Suhonen created Ivana Helsinki’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection to capture the mood of both stories. After a cross-country road trip during which the designer visited the bridges of the film’s title, Suhonen was driven to create two original artworks that eventually became prints for the recent collection. Cinematography, corn fields, and romantic notions came together in art, film, and fashion, thus “The Bridges of Madison County” - the collection - was born.
The room in Chelsea Pier’s Studio 59 fell dark as a projection lit up the runway, starting off the show with a mini-movie created to accompany the collection. Always merging fashon with visual arts, the short film by Suhonen featured a model in a field, rollicking in clothing from the collection while stroking a butterfly. This began the introduction to the butterfly theme throughout the collection, found in prints, on hats, attached to clothing, and used subtly in embroidery. Garments took on loose, draping, bohemian shapes, with the majority of looks being dresses. The overwhelming amount of dresses in contrasting shapes and prints felt almost disjointed, but were all very wearer-friendly and commercially appealing.
While the use of textures and fabrics proved the designers creativity, there were a few effects that felt a little arts-and-crafts-y, such as a basketweave-style dress that reminded me just a little bit of those gum wrapper bracelets. The accessories like big, floppy, straw hats and headpieces, mostly by Suhonen herself, lent a lot to the overall aesthetic. Matthew Curtis for TRESemme outfitted models in disheveled waves with skinny side braids, AJ Crimson gave the girls fresh-faced makeup with dark, dramatic lips. Overall a sweet, wearable collection with a great backstory, but maybe a little safe, - I couldn’t help but feel like it had more potential.
Nu-Mode´ Coverage Alexandra Stevens
Photographs Courtesy Imaxtree