Bryce Aime's "Militarium" - One of the Strongest
Collections in Recent Memory
By Alexander Patino
POSTED February 23, 2011
Bryce Aime's Fall 2011 collection "Militarium" serves up some dazzling associations. Klaus Nomi and Lady Gaga sign up for an intergalactic battle
of the hautest? Yes, please! This is one military-inspired collection every woman is going to want to get their hands on.
Sitting front-row at a Bryce Aime's runway show is the only place to be. One walks into the Parisian designer's show expecting to see his awe-inducing
spectacle pieces, but that gamble has proven to be a double-edged sword. It's easy to forget that the Central St. Martins alum is also a wearability wizard.
With "Militarium," Aime strives for a dual resonance and never falters. Sitting just a mere foot or two away from the incredible details - catching just where
the printed perspex plastic overlays and connects into sharp geometric prisms to create a dress inspired by "army barracks" - it can leave one dizzy and
breathless. With "Militarium," note-taking becomes an act of futility. Sometimes one just has to put the pen down and let the spell take you over.
The very first look, a zip-up black jacket with a razor-sharp V-line cut in glossy tux silk, immediately recalled the theatricality of Klaus Nomi, the iconoclastic
German countertenor - sans the overblown pigeon-chested silhouette. It's important to note that the high pomp was met with down-to-earth accessibility.
It was the flowy, but restrained draping that felt especially familiar in a collection that came off as essentially alien, in a molecular level. From the make-up,
to the styling, the across the board androgyny at play, the exploding supernova prints and even the molten animal hoof shoes - the complex, but not
arbitrary brew, was handled with a nonpareil confidence. Just like Aime's exploding star/jagged rock dresses and head-pieces, these foreign elements
aligned to make clothes that weren't just "weird" - like a lot of the fashion seen in London this week, but wholly interesting. Picking the collection apart, it's
a totally wearable and sellable array of clothes. Well - apart from those pieces that even Aime must know are solely for the sake of a good show. Consider
the dyed champagne silk cocktail dress. It wasn't just decked in futurism, but in marketability.
Bryce Aime collaborated with the venerated bag designer Bracher Emden for this collection. The effect was something close to genius. It's very seldom that a marriage of sensibilities
works out so seamlessly on the runway. The jutted prisms on the purses, boom-boxy clutches and even the drool-worthy backpacks seemed borne out of the same essence as Aime's
Lady Gaga-esque creations.
The common generalization is that if aliens do exist somewhere out there in this universe, their intelligence surely must outshine that of our Early brethren. Bryce Aime's "Militarium" seems
to add something else to that conversation. If extra-terrestrials are smarter than us, surely their ideas of "chic" must be made of something we've yet come to grasp. Tonight, Aime gave us a
glimpse into what that might just look like. If they ever get here - we'll be ready for them.