story by Dana Varon
photos by Ned & Aya Rosen
Frank Tell‘s Spring 2012 collection combines flowery lace work and luxe leathers that lend to impeccably put together pieces. Leather and lace is an often employed pairing, but do not let that fool you into thinking Frank Tell’s work with them is just another cliche. They may be used often elsewhere, but they are used very differently here.
The buttery soft leather jackets in tan and black are cropped and made from python and alligator rawhide, looking like they only get better with age, which makes sense because they are a perfect pair all over everything. The lace in Tell’s black and white dresses and jackets is lovely, light, and lavishly layered, but also see-through sexy. The two loves are blended together into an evolved elegance.
Among the leather and lace is unique gold eyelet stitching with thick thread seemingly pulling pieces together. Tell wanted to, “break the body in a way, still have some bareness and cage it” somewhat like the structure of The Brooklyn Bridge. He also expressed that his creations come from emotion. This is so endlessly evident in his work.
All the samples in the collection were hand sewn by one seamstress, and her craftsmanship is not hidden when you see these garments up close. Even under the lofty layers of lace there is meticulous lining with the same soft leather. Other pieces include super light fiber mix wool that snugs the body and has accompanying detail, opened back tops, and single-ruffle bottoms. Present from his previous works are geometric shapes in the form of patches and peek-a-boo triangular lace spots. Floaty feathers, gold zip details and baby blue chiffon like fabric add some zing to the black and white, and the cut away bottom leather jacket a dip of darkness. Together it is a louche line looking for a night out.