By Jenn D'Imperio reporting from Fashion Week in New York City
On Monday morning (Sept 13, 2010) I had the opportunity to view Malan Breton's Spring 2011 showing at New York City's Metropolitan Pavilion. Malan was the second contestant kicked off of the third season of Bravo's reality show Project Runway back in 2006, but the self-taught designer didn't let that dissuade him from following his dream and creating his own path to the runway.
Malan Breton's Spring 2011 collection was presented with a live 65 piece orchestra, the Chelsea Symphony, and was based on the concept of "American sportswear meets Paris Couture".
This was the first Malan show I attended and I was not familiar with his previous work. Malan's first showing for Spring 2007 offered pieces for women that were flirty, fun, and daring – while still maintaining an air of elegance. This season, Malan played it a little safer. His silhouettes are clean and the designs are very wearable but slightly bland for my taste. (Then again, I tend to dress like Ke$ha when I go out on the weekends, so I'm most likely not Malan's target market). His first womenswear collection was more my speed but this collection is perfect for a mature woman who wants to look classic and beautiful – without all the fuss and frills.
Malan Breton 2011
One item that did catch my eye was Malan's version of the corset belt. The corset belt had a brief fling with "trendy" after Dolce & Gabbana premiered their rock n roll metal version (complete with key and padlock) a few years back. I'd love to see this sexy accessory make its way into the mainstream and Malan played with a much more wearable version by making it in black leather and pairing it with sleek gray trousers and a simple white top.
I absolutely fell in love with Malan's current Men's collection. Malan first branched out into menswear at his Spring 2010 showing and clearly that's where his focus should be. Malan gave a refreshing take on the typical stuffy suit by using luxurious fabrics and made them perfect for spring by opting for some knee-grazing shorts and throwing in the occasional pop of canary yellow. A well-made and perfectly tailored suit on a man is a great way to grab anyone's attention (especially mine).
Dancers turned models, Brittany Franklin and Chase Finlay, broke out into a ballroom number mid-show which created an easy and fun transition from womenswear to menswear and the audience was highly entertained. Models carried umbrellas and paraded poodles down the runway and all kept their cool when the fire alarm went off during the show.
NYC Housewife Alex McCord walked in the show. Style expert Nole Marin, actress Denise Richards, Project Runway alum Diana Eng and comedian Gilbert Gottfried were all in attendance.
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