Rachel Antonoff has the ability to evoke very specific childhood memories in her viewers through her presentations – and her 2012 Spring/Summer Presentation is no exception. Upon entering the “Antonoff Manor” – a black and white illustrated set of a haunted house (designed by Aux Armes) – it is hard not to be reminded of the tall tales often told at sleepovers, camp outs, and of course, on Halloween. Cartoonish cobwebs, a pet cemetery, and a black cat served to enhance the spooky feel of the room, while a mock portrait of a naked woman in the style of maybe Manet’s Olympia or Titian’s Venus of Urbino served to add an ancient feel to the decrepit manor.
The child-like, pigtailed models in the presentation were dressed as if they were the subjects of these eerie ghost stories. Their outfits – consisting of scalloped collars, bold polka dots, girlish drop waists, ruffled cropped tops, tap shorts, fruit cup prints and even a “Wednesday Addams” dress – reflected an age of innocence and playfulness. Yet the models’ haunting gazes suggested something much darker: Although they were dressed very sweetly, their intentions could prove to be far more sinister. One model gazed into a mirror, as if to directly echo the tale of Bloody Mary. Others held exaggerated cutouts of axes and knives. It’s very reminiscent of the children’s book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – frightening in a good way.
Highlights of the presentation were the Kusum Blouse with Bunhead Dot Skirt, The Laurel and Ducky dresses, and the wonderful accessories: Albertus Swanepoel for Rachel Antonoff hats, and of course, Bass Loves Rachel Antonoff shoes. The shoe line includes both strappy sandals and oxfords with clear panels – cute when going barefoot, or even when paired with patterned or fluorescent socks! Creepy tunes by DJ Tennessee Thomas rounded out the experience – Too bad there wasn’t any Halloween candy!
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