story written by Sia-Alika Battle
photography by Aeric Meredith-Goujon
styling by Zimir Hernandez
makeup by Samantha Lennon
hair by Sonia Castleberry
model is Aleksandra from Fenton Moon
all shoes provided by l’Autre Chose
The Gary Graham spring 2012 collection is a fairy tale of a young woman, as told by Mr. Graham, “she lives in an interior space, literally and figuratively, and she steps outside. It’s a story with a happy ending.” His design aesthetic is fueled by his “interest in where the garment has been moving through history and time.” A bleached floral print was inspired by a dress from a friend’s grandmother. The herringbone suiting group was grown from a found swatch of fabric. Wallpaper that has survived flood waters is the genesis of a print that spotlights the beauty of graduated color shifts.
Gary Graham has taken inspiration from Hurricane Katrina, Viennese sheet music, and grandmothers’ attics to create a collection that finds the balance between the shadows and the light. Earlier collections employed washing and distressing techniques to convey the feeling of age. Mr. Graham is now utilizing his textile industry background to create the same emotions through fabrication and graphic prints.
Few artists of any medium can elevate decay to beauty, David Lynch, Terrance Malick, Diane Arbus, Lucien Freud, and now perhaps among them Gary Graham. A visit to the eponymous store in Tribeca allows you a glimpse into the mind of the designer. The foundation is a re-imagining of the backstage and rafters of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The store was designed as a “black box” that allows the designer to further his vision. It has hosted revolving installations that tie in to the designer’s collection. Currently visitors experience full-size sets wallpapered with prints from the spring collection.
Mr. Graham has created a collection that has a duality of light and dark which can be found in every woman and be worn by any woman. Tag floral dresses are layered with organza, flowing print dresses can be worn over crinoline slips, silk Jacquard tunics give the look of patched lingerie, and silk shirts showcase a tea stained print. At first glance you see a pretty garment, but your eyes can’t look away as you notice the deeper colorations and texture that cleverly emulate the beauty of those materials which grow more striking with age.