Monika Chiang is one of those rare designers who does effortless cool in a way that isn’t in the least clichéd (no small feat). This season as well, she managed to succinctly marry her signature downtown aesthetic with a little uptown sophistication in her South Africa inspired collection.
Throughout her past collections, her distinctive wanderlust has clearly affected her design sensibilities, sometimes in a haphazard way – but this time around, it actually came across as an eclectic mix of lots of different elements that work well together. Being informed of different cultures has allowed her to experimentally push the boundaries with silhouettes and textures, to fantastic results.
Modernist cuts and hues are part of her strength and for the most part, she lived up to that tag. Donned in a crisp white shirt with gorgeous accessories, she answered questions all evening, standing next to her barrage of models in clashing but workable ensembles.
A motorcycle jacket in supple ebony leather with bright tangerine drop waist pants was the first look – cementing tangerine as the overwhelming color of the collection. There were some diametrically opposing looks next to each other, for example a fairly uptown inspired look involving a split ivory skirt in linen with a black vest, embellished bag and a silver cap next to lots of leather and embellished pencil skirts.
Accessories however, were definitely the winners of the collection. The shoes were amazing structured beauties with carefully placed embellishments to add a bit of panache. Structured, heavily embellished bags were at play with nearly each look as well. And with the exception of a few looks, nearly all involved lovely free, loose silhouettes. Another dominant hue was a stunning emerald green: splashed onto skirts, maxi skirts and shirts alike. One of the chicest looks was a printed pant in pretty, earthy tones with a leather vest and tank. So insouciant, yet put together.
With plenty of safari inspired pieces (naturally), slouchy evening pieces, fitted bottoms and a liberal sprinkling of sportswear pieces, the collection left you feeling excited about the upcoming season of strong jackets and statement accessories.