From pre-show, the smoky, spacious room and ominous music built anticipation for Leanne Marshall’s Spring/Summer 2016 runway show. At the start, the room lit up and models began to strut to powerful but less ominous music. The first set of models had fierce and feminine ensembles, with black and gray outfits that featured organza, mesh, and cutouts. The room had the feel of a summer rainstorm with the models’ wet hair look, smudgy eye makeup, and carefree, simple sandals.
Soon, the lights changed to blue, and models were wearing various blue hued dresses and gowns as rain sound effects increasingly accompanied the music. The models no longer had a wet hair look, instead sporting loose waves. After some formfitting ombré looks, the main color became light blue. A standout number here was an organza dress with silk chiffon overlay details, which made the look winglike and added to the carefree feel. An ensemble with a multi-colored ombre bodice and white flowing skirt was bold, but may have worked better if the bodice had been a classic color.
The finale had a “queen of the jungle” vibe, returning to the nature theme Marshall explored with her wave inspired collection that led to her Project Runway win. Models wore branches and leaves in their hair, walking in majestic, primarily white gowns. Some of these featured shades of green or a braless look, adding to the natural atmosphere. This section departed most from Marshall’s recent work, while others had stayed mostly true to her signature mod-feminine aesthetic. The skirts were long, layered, and detailed. The final gown was by far the boldest, featuring green, natural organza, floral details, and a crown of branches.
The ending walk summarized the show well, displaying the effortless transitions between the summery themes. Marshall had a successful, creative show, as was evident from her beaming expression and confident walk. She continues to experiment with new combinations but remains true to her roots and signature style.
Alexandra Nicole Webb is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]