Irina Vitjaz F/W 2018

Emily Yan

The view from Spring Studios was the perfect backdrop for Irina Vitjaz’s F/W runway collection. Skyscrapers sparkling against the night sky seemed an extension of the glittery, metallic gowns strutting down the runway.

Vitjaz is a Russian-born Austrian designer, known for her sophisticated and classic silhouettes. With this collection, Vitjaz gave subtle twists to the classic silhouettes we know and love. A pantsuit made out of slouchy velvet and a moto jacket constructed from textured, metallic fabric instead of the traditional leather, represent modern interpretations of classic garments.

One feature of the collection that stood out to me was the juxtaposition between structure and softness. Rich, heavy fabrics, such as velvet, were paired with lighter ones, like tulle. The second look that walked down the runway was a figure-hugging black velvet gown, yet its puffy tulle sleeves, surrounding the model’s figure like a foggy aura, softened the entire look. Just like tulle accents softened darker, heavier pieces, structured collars and tapered shoulders toughened otherwise flowy dresses. Throughout the collection, structured tops were paired with more playful bottoms: an angular moto jacket with a black tutu; a velvet waistcoat with a long, sheer skirt; a stiff bodice with a flouncy, ruffled peplum. The models’ makeup, winged eyeliner and barely-there nude lips, further reflect the theme of sharp versus soft. Whether tied up in relaxed buns or let loose in a halo of natural curls, even the models’ hair were simultaneously clean and sophisticated yet easy and effortless.

With the juxtaposition of hard and delicate, structured and playful, Vitjaz reminds us that sophistication doesn’t need to restrict movement — that elegance can be flouncy, bouncy, and whimsical.

Email Emily Yan at [email protected]

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