Portuguese designer Katty Xiomara spent this summer with butterflies on the mind. Finding inspiration in their colors and patterned wings, their delicacy, and the phenomenon of the “Butterfly Effect,” the title of her spring summer 2012 collection. Her design philosophy comes from a place of femininity and prettiness, which came easily to her with such delicate and fragile creatures to refer to as inspiration. The seamlessness is not a mystery, as it seems anything she touches would turn into a precious feminine frock.
Oranges and yellows, grounded in brown, ivory and black, were layered and mixed together like a monarch’s wings. Seaming and collars were curved mimicking their silhouette. The lightness of hand and of fabrics was the butterflies resting lightly on their slender legs. Wanting to capture that weightlessness and fragility, Xiomara recruited dancers rather than models to walk the runway, which was a series of podiums and walkways and projected backdrops. Stopping to pose on a rotating podium like a jewelry box ballerina the clothes were seen at their best, like the yellow bodysuit shining through the perfectly constructed lace dresses with soft gathered collars and sleeves. In the tutu-like skirts, the dancers’ motions, raising their arms as if taking flight, or fluttering their legs from one end of the room to the other, spoke the language of butterfly.
After the models made their way around the space in a choreographed sequence of movements, the designer was beaming and enjoying the culmination of her hard work. When I commented on the clever shape of the models hair (in the silhouette of the butterflies wings) she explained that even more than the aesthetic references, her goal was to achieve the spirit of their fragility and lightness of movement. And that, small and fragile as they are, a simple flap of their wings can build into the powerful force of a hurricane.
This collection could be that flutter of Xiomara’s wings, growing stronger from it’s unassuming strength.
- Lee Anderson, Parisian Correspondent
Designer website: www.kattyxiomara.com