story by Aya Rosen
photos by Ned and Aya
Asked about his new Spring 2012 collection, Scottish designer Graeme Armour, mentioned the art of Margaret Mellis, an abstract-cubist artist known for her use of primary vivid color, as a major inspiration. Both Mellis’ and Armour’s work is about deconstruction, simplification of shapes, and taking a new look of proportion.
The collection is another step in expressing Armour’s intrest in the tention between decorative and utilitarian, producing extremely interesting cuts. The garments are constructed as if made to reshape the body and recreate a non-human silhouette. To achieve this it seems the designer has brought together ideas about 80s-inspired proportions, futuristic motifs, nods to the classic power suit, motorcycle and horse riding garments, circuses, and vintage military uniforms. The result is sometimes confusing, sometimes breathtaking, ranging between simple basics and incredibly complex composite looks.
Armour has employed a range of very different materials, from hardened patent leather to silk faille, and just about anything in between. A big theme in this collection is how different materials behave when cut in the same way. In some of the outfits, this creates a stunning look that’s both feminine and powerful. In others, it seem like the softer, more drapes fabrics do not react well to the harder fabrics’ common cuts and the garments seem ill fitting or too heavy. Is it mistake or art?
We see the use of diverse materials and innovative cuts in a quilted asymmetrical fuchsia biker jacket teamed with a black knotted silk dress, pants made of tartan lace in the front and opaque black fabric in the back, a shear black button down blouse over a wonderfully sexy dress with a jacket collar and waste sleets and a fuchsia bollero length cropped perfecto jacket teamed with slated trousers. Overall an interesting collection from a London-established New York newcomer.