Wall Street Journal Review on Malandrino Spring/Summer 2011

09.13.10

Wearable Art from Catherine Malandrino

By: Christina Binkley

View the original article at Wall Street Journal here.

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Her summer vacation in the south of France left Catherine Malandrino feeling wild. Ms. Malandrino may be a New York designer who grew up in France, but she’s forever considered a FrenchNew York designer because her collections generally have a very Parisian feminine look.

Not this season with her upscale Malandrino line.

If you’re looking for the same trends everyone else is doing, just move right along, folks, because you won’t find it here.

Malandrino is where you should go if you want clothes that are simultaneously art objects and wearable and comfortable.  That is not easy for a designer to do – it takes real confidence and clarity to consider how the clothes will feel, how (and where) they should cover the body, and then make them into a three-dimensional art installation.

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I couldn’t help thinking that Ms. Malandrino would wear every single item in the collection herself. It’s easy to imagine her in the vivid tie-dye dresses, the tops of leather or linen knotted in macramé, and the transparent pants that seemed a cross between leggings and slacks. This collection is completely her personal aesthetic.

Later, Michael Fink, Dean of Fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design, said the same thing. It made the collection feel honest, rather than a production engineered by consultants.

The shoes were a highlight – especially the knotted leather sandal-boots that rose over the knee.