Joynoelle 2012

Independent designer Joynoelle showed an unabashedly unique collection at the Grand Café last night. That's what I like about her aesthetic: She has a distinct vision and isn't concerned so much with trends. Instead, she's concerned with her own style, which involves things like boldness and elegant silhouettes and femininity.

I also like that Joy Tieken, the indie designer behind Joynoelle, knows how to sew. I spotted a few off-center zippers, and some models weren't filling out their tops, but by and large, everything was tailored and polished. She's a professional.

Going back to the bold nature of her work — graphic stripes, contrasting color palettes, intricate textures — this is how the best designers work. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler didn't win a bunch of CFDA awards because their designs were timid. Joy is headed in the right direction.

But, in a few of Joy's outfits, the styling was overwhelming and translated better when broken down into pieces. I would've styled the striped trousers, for example, with a silky black top — not with an equally loud bustier.

Some of my favorite pieces include the third shirtdress from the top with the bell sleeves, retro shape and overall breezy feel; the short cream bodycon halter dress with a feather skirt; and the penultimate wedding dress with the vertically ruched tiers.

Speaking of which, I always like to keep Joyenolle in mind for bridal work. Her wedding dresses are gorgeous. There isn't a style she hasn't mastered, and she's still inventing new ways to walk down the aisle. Her 2012 collection is made up of mostly lightweight fabrics in loose shapes with a highly textural technique. Pretty much exactly what the modern bride wants. Also — yay, straps! I'm so over the strapless wedding gown, which looks bad on most anyone who isn't a barbie doll.

What do you think of this collection?

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