United Bamboo Fall 2010
Every season designers strive to relive a decade on the runways, with varying levels of success. When it works, it can spark a whole year of fashion, and when it doesn't, the designer is nailed. We're thankful for United Bamboo, design team Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham, who drew inspiration from the 1930s this season for their Fall collection, and evolved the signature decade into something entirely their own. Their incredibly gorgeous and cohesive fashion consists of dresses, coats and pants that literally can be worn every day of the week.
We started backstage where Shiseido artists furiously coiled individual locks of hair on models, set, and unfurled to reveal a sprouting coif, which matched with dark lipstick provided the perfect complement of mess and glamour to the flawless clothes.
United Bamboo created an amazing wardrobe in homage to the 1930s liberated woman, according to the designer's statement, "the kind of sophisticated wildcat Clark Gable chased all across Asia, and who wasn't affected by the Great Depression because she never got depressed." They drew from the styles of Amelia Earhart to Norma Shearer, a tan oversized cardigan, a flight jacket, long hemlined skirts and a Technicolor dress. Using menswear fabrics they created a variety of structured pants meant for a woman who means business.
Several models carried United Bamboo's structured doctor bag, a carryall that could easily be the must-have bag of the season. Shoes marked with charms, chains, and silk anklets added a feminine sheen to some of the more tomboy ensembles.
The finale dress (above), a short flowing velvet sweetheart neck with a cut-out back was romantic and classic, without being too over-the-top. With wide open sleeves, it's a practical way to wear velvet from fall through early spring.
The designers said they created their collection while listening to the radio, which unlike television or computers, requires the listener to let pictures come to them. "It espouses a realism that is not so much about survival," they said, "as about strategy, methodical achievement and ultimate triumph." With luscious drapes and palettes, the United Bamboo 2010 collection gives good reason to set aside some technology-free time and live everyday glamour.