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story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
web editor Rachel Reneé
Call it “couture control,” the ability of designers to create shapes and contours and stop or force movement with invisible techniques, never ceases to amaze. Katya Leonovich’s Fall 2012 collection is rich in the studied skills of couture craftsmanship. Her works are fashioned from substantial boucles, protective leathers, corsets, and a vivid print which captured the chaotic beauty of New York City itself. Across the collection there was a feel of padding, of the comfort of protection. Not just in material and thickness but in sharpness and boldness. These are clothes for the woman who, while she likes to get the looks, does want to intimidate a touch, to keep the fools at bay.
Many of the pieces had distinctive design details that reminded of metal rolled or edged, which completed the radiation of that feeling of a modern warrior from previous collections. Despite all of the hard and dire sounding descriptions above, the collection did not in any way descend into heaviness. There was color and shimmer throughout, and even the blackest of pieces were edged with lighter colored details which keep them from feeling dour.
In her second season showing at Lincoln Center, Katya Leonovich has firmly pronounced herself as a designer to keep an eye on. She understands how to make the transition from pure couture to that narrow but rich space between couture and high-end ready to wear. Mrs. Leonovich has a definitive point of view and seems immediately comfortable in that world of upper echelon ready to wear class clothing. Her couturier’s love of shape serves her well and her understanding that the modern woman wants clothes that, while eye catching and bold, must be easy to take on and off, ensures that her future may be fashioned by her own hands.