story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Freda Henry
The act of executing a fashion collection as primarily a display of art is a fearless undertaking. Frank Tell’s Fall 2011 collection was primitive, a stripped down show of the purest forms and functionality. The raw skins and heavy layers mixed with loosely constructed dresses and blouses to project a raw and visceral impact.
Though the clothes were rough and evoked homespun outfits, there were plenty of touches of decoration and sophistication. Those touches transformed the models, they appeared as queens of the ice swept wilds that were in play on the stage and in the film playing above the Lincoln Center Box floor. Loose and open knits mixed with antique lace and jeweled accents to punctuate a cohesive vision. The models radiated a story and a sense of fully developed characters. This was a fashion “show” and it felt tremendously refreshing amongst the majority of dutifully aimed and market-calculated collections that have become the dreary norm. I do not mean to say that there are no pieces amongst this collection that are perfect for everyday wear. The tremendously imaginative jackets are certain attention-grabbers and many of the skirts and blouses can give a boring look a great infusion of daring and romance. Mr Tell has returned to his bold best.