Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ralph PUCCI Mannequin Opening Reception...



Ralph PUCCI hosted his annual mannequin show with an opening reception on Thursday, December 7th, in Manhattan. Spread throughout two different floors, the show displayed an array of mannequins dressed by NAUM, the brand name of Waleed Khairzada and Julia Jentzsch, for their Spring 2006 collection. The show also displayed art works and a line of contemporary furniture.

Waleed Khairzada is of Afghan and Turkish descent and Julia Jentzsch is a German native. Mr. Khairzada moved with his family to the States in 1980. He was a designer at Harve Bernard for 15 years and in 1988 became inspired by the high-tech fabric research being done by many companies such as Sensatex.

Julia Jentzsch began her career in fashion with her Graduate Collection at The Royal College of Arts in London. Catching the attention of Jill Sander, she spent two years working with the designer and then went on to work for designers Alber Elbaz and Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. Julia moved to New York to work as a design director for Calvin Klein Collection. In addition, Julia Jentzsche has served as a design consultant for Vera Wang (among others).



NAUM’s work is focused on the blend of luxury fabrics such as silk, wools, linens and technical fabrics, and knits. The result is a blend of beautifully crafted clothes that are both comfortable, yet practical, in their designs.



The spotlight was clearly on the mannequins displayed on both levels, with a floor reserved for women’s fashion and the other for men’s. The clothes are luxurious with an exotic appeal that references different and diverse sources. The look obtained by a hooded sweater is a reminder of Arabic influence and, at the other extreme, a kimono dress designed for men harkens back to Oriental inspiration. That NAUM’s designs recall so strikingly the works of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo is a homage to the quality of their design and the attention given to detail. The designs recall the fine work that Jill Sander produces with clean lines that are elegant.



Most appealing was a display of jackets and coats for both men and women. One display presented a “New Look” jacket paired with a draped leather belt reminiscent of the artwork of Madame Gres. Mr Khaizadar and Ms Jentzsche show a real talent for blending diverse cultural influences, yet achieving a line of clothes that are sharp, nicely edgy and contemporary.

Although the artwork was for this writer somewhat uninspired, and the furniture not likely to appeal to all in its radicalism, the dressed mannequins did provide an interesting take on fashion. Response to NAUM’s collection has been overwhelmingly positive. The New York Times and W/WWD have all been strong supporters of NAUM and it is a justified praise of their work.

The designers are being represented by Greg Mills LTD. For further information please contact (212) 391-0050.

-Muriel Triffaut

We welcome our newest fashion reporter Muriel TRIFFAUT. Muriel was born and raised in Africa and has traveled extensively throughout the world, living in many different places. Formally a lawyer, Muriel spent years in Paris working for Orlane and then Jean Patou Parfums before moving to the USA 15 years ago. A few years ago she went back to painting which led to exhibits in New York City and in Paris.

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