VPL: Fall 2008 Ready to Wear

For a designer who spent the past three seasons focusing on avant-garde themes centered on women’s suffrage movements, dance and water, Victoria Bartlett unexpectedly hit the runway at Fashion Week with the theme that gets down to what fashion is really about: sculpture.

Bartlett’s line, VPL, is deeply rooted in the sculptural. While you probably won’t see any of her pieces next to a Noguchi or a Miró, Bartlett brings life to sculpture by giving it a body. The fall line maps out the contour of the body, playing off the natural curves of the model who wears them. The fabrics and body interact with each other, each illuminating the shape of the other.

Though a few of the looks come across as more conceptual than wearable, with large coils of fabric draping around the model’s neck or shoulder pads of what looks like braided hair, the rest of the line is grounded by a system of conscious sculpting. Two-tone tights, banded tops and pants that puff at the thigh and hug the calf accentuate the anatomy of the figure.

Dresses that swoop one color up over the hip, shirts that cinch the waist with complimentary colors and jackets that smartly highlight the shoulders and cuffs, all contribute to the sculptural aspect of this line. These details allow the viewer’s eye to travel comfortably across the outfit as a whole, bringing all the pieces of the look together, permitting the fabrics to breathe and come to life.

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