story by Colleen Vincent
photos by Ned & Aya Rosen
Sally LaPointe’s designs look like formal wear for the model outer space tourist. The shapes are exaggerated. Double shoulder epaulettes define a gorgeous, high necked black metallic silk jacket, the same detail used on the hips to flesh out a turquoise and white swirl printed silk jersey mini with leggings. The design concept, inspired by photographic processing, came to Ms. LaPointe by way of another very talented female artist, painter and photographer Lillian Bassman. Ms. Bassman, used her camera to explore form. When her style and vision fell out of favor, she discarded four decades of negatives and prints. Her work was rediscovered and recognized in the nineties.
Ms. Bassman, still alive and kicking at the age of 94 by the way, is the designer’s favorite photographer. Bassman’s story inspired LaPointe’s ideas about latent images coming into light. The show began with looks cool, wintery silver tones, moving into series of reds, including a printed silk mid-length asymmetrical georgette jacket canvased another ghostly white swirl pattern from the neck to the hemline. Next came the blues including that astonishing torquoise mini, and a navy lambskin jacket and silk lame pant with hip epaulettes, quite reminiscent of Martian summers. Overall, the looks were radical and bold, but also beautiful and distinctly feminine. This collection – the textures, the colors, the cuts, the details – was out of this world.