Elizabeth Kennedy’s Surreal Stunners
by Ian Laughead
“This is not a jacket.” So read a sleek white jacket with the quote along a sleeve in the style of René Magritte. An embroidered hand holding a rose sat on the center of the piece with bright red fingernails forming the buttons. With Elizabeth Kennedy, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. Operating strictly within the eveningwear sphere, the designer and ApparelMagic client took her spring collection at New York Fashion Week as an opportunity to test the boundaries of her chosen field.
Standard Oscars dresses these were not, though inevitably a few of them will end up on discerning starlets that appreciate an art history reference when they see one. Other looks, though not directly labeling themselves played with expectation. Some gowns had trompe l’oeil ribbons tied across the breast, forming nostalgic sweetheart necklines. Another was beaded to mimic the texture of an uneven dupioni silk.
The most stunning of the evening dresses had to be the ones with heavily-boned bustier tops. Wide, layered skirts appeared to be have been peeled off of them and draped in deshabille style around the hips. Elizabeth’s dresses might be all illusion, but her success from here on out will be 100% reality.