Friday, June 12, 2009

Let The Sun Shine In

(All photos: Gerard Gentil)

Judging by the look of many of Douglas Hannant’s current Resort pieces, it appears to this editor that perhaps the designer might have gone straight to inspirations such as the current Broadway revival of that old fave, “Hair”, along with some cool vintage and retro boutiques, vintage and retro books, magazines, photography and the like.

Seeing the collection, though, really brings to mind, clear images of more than just a few of those beautiful, fabulously dressed hippie chicks of the l960’s; the girls who shopped hard, played hard, partied hard, and always wore flowers in their hair, no matter if they were in San Francisco, New York, Woodstock, London, Paris, Cannes or Milan.

Hannant’s final result played out in a groovy, new-wave spin across nearly all of the cool, personality-packed clothes; the majority of which should really warm up the designer’s clients for the new season. But, even with all of this joy and stylized fashion, there was an obvious downside here. Most unfortunately, the line was shown in a rather drab, lackluster, no-fun-at-all, showroom presentation. Think about an environment which did little, if anything at all, to further punch up to the max, the kinds of colorful, fantastical and whimsical pieces created by Hannant, and you get the picture.

Generally, there is much to love in the 22-piece grouping. While the sexy “Gypsy Style” and opulent “Rich Bohemian” themes win for coming across as highly covetable and best-looking, the more toned-down and somewhat staid“Traveler” pieces do seem to take somewhat of a bit of a back seat to everything else across the line.

Overall, the designer’s key silhouettes embrace flowing, easy-to-wear blouses and tunics, slim, low-waist embellished pants (the beaded, sequined and feathered pants are to die for), multi-print jacquard sheath dresses and sequin print gowns. For those who are loving color, Hannat does not disappoint, especially when he concentrates on shades such as Aqua, Cobalt Blue, Coral, Paprika and Tangerine. Always a stickler for intricate detailing, the designer opts for raffia trim, trapunto seams, crochet, and stone and jewel beading in all of the right places, along with mixes and matches of colors, textures and prints, seen most predominently across the “Gypsy Style” grouping.

Addressing the overall look and flare of this freewheeling collection, it is quite right to say that everything is hip, hot and happening over at Douglas Hannant. Addressing the showroom presentation and what that did (or did not do) for the clothes, well, that is quite another story.

– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg

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