Fresh on the heels of her NYFW triumph, Malene Grotrian presented another elegantly beautiful collection at Wednesday night's show in Circa Resto Lounge. As with her other collections, the clothes featured beautiful textiles and textures--no surprise considering that Malene sources her fabrics from Italy and Montreal. What is different this time, though, is that Malene turned to nature instead of classic glamour for inspiration. "This collection was inspired by sand," she said to me after the show. "The way it looks when it's wet or dry, the way it moves, the different shades of gray on pebbles and stone at the beach."
Following inspiration closely, then, this season's clothes drew on a neutral colour palette of beiges, white, and black with the occasional jolt of vibrant crimson. Models sashayed down the "runway" (really a path earmarked to circulate throughout Circa's lower level) to the sounds of a violinist playing over a pounding backbeat. High-waisted pencil skirts in luxurious fabrics and dresses with black leather tie belts put all emphasis on the waist. The dresses themselves were either loose and flowing (a draped jersey number, a lingerie-inspired slip dress with an asymmetrical hem) or structured.
Although this collection featured the trademark bustiers and open bolero jackets that Malene does so well, it also seemed to take a page from tailored menswear. I spied shirtdresses, crisp button-down blouses, and even an embroidered tuxedo jacket with satiny lapels. But the menswear influences were transmogrified by femininity in the form of seams that complement curves, or oversized ruffles spilling down the front of a satiny shirtdress.
The closing look--a strapless black-and-white embroidered gown with a flowing train--earned gasps of admiration and applause from the audience. For me, it also recalled the high drama of the tulle-lined ballgown skirts at last season's VFW show.
Malene with the violinist
Malene and her models pose in front of Circa after the show.
All photos by Yvonne Chew. This post also appears on Stylefinds.