by Alex R. Travers
Carmen Marc Valvo wants to wish us a “Cruel, Cruel Summer” in 2014. Yes, the show started and ended with Bananarama’s track, slightly remixed to be heavily infused with a Marilyn Manson-esque kick drum. Sara Dallin, Bananarama’s lead singer, once said in an interview that the song “played on the darker side: it looked at the oppressive heat and the misery of wanting to be with someone as the summer ticked by. We’ve all been there.” Valvo’s vision for Spring-Summer also felt dark. His goal, as stated in the editorial notes, was “to create a more hard-edged sophistication.”
Most of the looks were streamlined, but a series of sporty mesh skirts (some in tulle, others laser-cut) demonstrated a fluidity in movement. There were windows cut to create the illusion of tribal patterns as well as couture-like touches, displayed in an ivory and black double-faced top, delightfully weaved to form the silhouette of an hourglass that flowed naturally with the model’s curves. The perfection of that piece was in its simplicity. It was paired with one of the fluid mesh skirts. Ted Gibson, who did the hair design, outfitted the models with dip-dyed wigs: Kim Novack–blonde bobs dunked into raven black. In fact, perhaps a Vertigo reference isn’t too far off base here: The collection seemed to be about romantic obsession spiked with sex appeal.
That said, sometimes it felt too racy: for example, the swimwear didn’t leave much to the imagination. But at other times, the Carmen Marc Valvo woman was hypnotic, one whose beauty you could get lost in. And once her naked emotions were revealed, she’d be gone.