For the first time in Libertine’s history, whimsical neons were introduced for the Spring/Summer 2016 line. Creative force Johnson Hartig worked with Libertine’s well-known “recycled fashion” aesthetic, incorporating patches and detailed sequin patterns into almost all of the designs in the collection.
Featuring both men’s and women’s looks, there was a seamless blend of classic tailoring, billowing fabrics and casual-cool silhouettes. One model took the runway in a black tweed suit that was given the Libertine touch; it was draped with chain links and hot pink and orange patches. Shining brocades set the tone for more sophisticated pieces, also adorned with appliques.
Male and female models donned jackets and dresses fully covered in silver sequins. Black and gold t-strap stilettos were draped in bright plastic chain links that clanked together as models walked the runway. Men’s white Nikes and slides were accessorized in the same fashion.
“I’ve never seen a sparkle I didn’t like,” Hartig commented to a representative from Swarovski.
Fashion icon Iris Apfel, a good friend of the designer, was spotted sitting first row. Also in the audience was model Ashley Smith, who sported a mint green Libertine jacket decorated with the bright chain link detailing. Backstage, Hartig was greeted by friends raving about the collection.
When asked about the collection, Hartig exclaimed, “Neons! We’ve never done neons. And I love the spaghetti suit so much.” One of the most funky pieces on the runway had large emoji-like forks embroidered onto it, and beaded “spaghetti” hung from each fork like tassels.
Unfortunately, due to a UPS mishap, 20-30 integral pieces of the collection were missing.
“It was very mysterious,” said Hartig. “They were key garments that we spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on, so it was heartbreaking.” Despite the mishap, Libertine presented a vision that seemed entirely complete.
Grace Halio is an editor. Contact her at [email protected]