The debut presentation for NAHM set a standard Friday morning at Milk Studios. The models stood on pedestals of gradating levels in a semi-circle on a
whole side of the room, leaving the rest of the considerably large space open for the dozens of lookers-on. It was a welcome respite from the usually
crammed spaces where models stand on parallel pedestals with their backs to one another. The ambience was devilishly hypnotic - the brilliant lighting,
the exceptional set decorations, the haunting and memorable styling of the models and knowing that this collection was somehow inspired by Edgar Allen
Poe's famous poem "The Raven" - it all culminated in an intoxicating effect. It made most people forget that Tommy Hilfiger was in the room. He was there
showing support for the designers, Nary Manivong and Ally Hilfiger - his daughter.
But lets get down to the clothes. For their first MBFW outing, NM and AH (now do you see where the name comes from?) decided to keep it focused - a
collection of permutated shirtdresses. Well, it's not an inexhaustible concept - one can only take so many shirtdresses in one sitting. Which is possibly the
best reason to go on such a gamble your first go-around in the Fashion Week circuit, and in a presentation format, no less. With such strict parameters,
the duo more than rose to the challenge. At times, the approach was classic - as in the first garment - a black, sleeveless dress. Along the line, the
eccentricities and the zany juxtapositions started revealing themselves. Suddenly, the buttons on a black, long-sleeve A-line dress, appear to just keep on
going, suspended below the dress about an inch or two. Another long-sleeve piece starts as an A-line on the left, only to swoop down the right into a long
half-tulip skirt. This piece was introduced in not only a black sheer, but in a silky cotton burnt orange.
The thing about these pieces is that it's very easy not only to see women wear these garments in the streets of - say, Williamsburg - but to see them covet
them as well. A woman walking down the street in one of NAHM's half sleeveless, half pleated, half-everything dresses should be prepared to answer the
same question over and over and over again. Namely, "Where on Earth did you get that cool looking dress?"
By Alexander Patino
POSTED February 11, 2011
|NAHM Debut Collection at Milk Studios
Ally Hilfiger and Nary Manivong's Reconfigure the Shirt-Dress Into
Fascinating Forms for Their MBFW Debut
PICTURED: NAHM designers Ally Hilfiger (L) and Nary Manivong (R)
Photo Credit: Jennifer Sweeney