After ten years out of the fashion limelight, the launch of Elizabeth Emanuel’s label Art of Being was a storming success. The show called “Little Black Dress” was inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as the black dress Emanuel made for Princess Diana that both transformed the royal’s public image and catapulted the designer to fame.
Emanuel spoke of the show’s title, saying “I’ve chosen the little black dress as a theme because it is such an iconic fashion item. The little black dress embodies glamour, allure, sophistication and can still also be funky, sexy and slinky.”
There was a front row packed with celebrity fans but all eyes were firmly on the fabulous creations floating along the catwalk.
The dresses were classic with a modern twist, showing that Emanuel clearly has her finger on the fashion pulse. The choice to make all the dresses in different shades of black allowed the gorgeous sihouettes, cuts and textures to shine. The bias cut added a beautiful sense of movement and the silk moss crepe draped beautifully.
In the ready-to-wear part of the range there was a delicate black loop motif in the dresses and accessories. The special edition range included the silk moss crepe as well as Chantilly lace and duchess satin cascading in layers. Ruffles, sparkle, bows, embroidery and strong shoulders made of layers of fabric added sumptuous texture to the elegant designs.
Emanuel is a fan of textures, creating them with fabric and embroidery ” in the same way as an artist uses paint.” She says this is a technique learnt when designing costumes for the Royal Ballet. “In a sense a woman’s body becomes the canvas for my art – hence the name of my label, Art of Being.” You can certainly see elements of theatricality in the dramatic designs. Art of Being dresses can be your costume, slip on one of the dresses to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with the designs’ subtle sexiness.
The collection was at once classic and graceful but fun and sexy; a fusion of nostalgic influences and modern edginess.