As I was rushing towards the venue fresh out of the subway, I could barely believe my eyes. The models for Ann Yee's latest collection were standing like statuesque sentinels far above the rooftops of lower Manhattan on the wrap-around terrace of the building's penthouse. I couldn't wait to get upstairs and see the collection up close.
Upon arrival, I was gobsmacked by the combination of the stunning city views, the sparkling weather, and the sight of the models wearing colorful garments spaced around the airy glass deck. They appeared as goddesses of the sea flaunting fuchsia geisha-like eyes and lips with wet looking hair pulled back into slickly coiled coifs- mirroring the beautifully simple jewelry twisted into nautical sailor knots. In the background, the panorama of New York's landmarks rose like miniature stalagmites edging into view.
With over twenty pieces, the "Regeneration" collection is inspired partly by the ever-changing sea and the weather as its ever-present counterpart. Drawing her palette from a discovered pile of colorful fishing nets in the Seattle area, Ann takes a leap with an array of bright hues perfect for the warmer months. Featuring her signature knitwear along with draped and layered separates, this collection also displays bright flirty dresses, and slinky tank dresses. In a mix with all of the undisguised femininity, pointed shirt collar elements and pocket details hinted at the masculine.
Highlighted by a seafoam green with mint and bright coral pink combined with an uncharacteristically bold textured print these garments are foretelling a colorful and hopeful spring. In a metaphor for a brighter future and rebirth, the models arise from a tangle of colorful fishing nets. Similarly, the designer emerges with this collection as she recovers from a fire that tore through her studio and archive, turning tragedy into triumph.
The photo that inspired the collection reproduced as the signature print for this season.
"Sea Ropes" (Courtesy Ann Yee)