Two years since Lauren Bander was crowned as Winner of Project: Design! during STLFW 2012 with her LBSS13 collection, the St. Louis-native designer has been celebrating her outré aesthetics from Kansas City Fashion Week to New York Fashion Week.
Throwing back to FW2013, LB all-black couture collection features regal evening gowns so ornate that they remind us of the Dior femme relique - the woman mummified by her opulence. There was plenty of cerebral whimsy to offset the noirish femme fatale appeal. The LB woman is the baroness who disdains the familiarity of inferiors, flaunts her diamonds but never her discretions.
Bander’s most favorite designer is, conceivably, Christian Dior, whose brushstrokes very heavily influenced LB early collections. Bander’s couture has hit the runway in waves of staggering beauty and a little perverse extravagance. The designer’s talent lies in her ability to purge tulle and lace of the materials’ fussy, bourgeois gestures, creating a mermaid nonchalance that is touchingly glamorous. “I wanted to try and turn something ugly into something beautiful,” she explains. “So while the color story is very dark, the designs are beautiful and feminine,” answered Bander in an interview with ALIVE Magazine.
Having studied at The Paris American Academy and lived in the haute couture capital of the world, Bander forever holds Paris dear in her heart. The globe-trotting young designer has certainly paid homage to the Parisian scenes: art, elegance, snobbery, nostalgia, and vice distilled with purity make an eau-de-vie that goes straight to the head.
All images courtesy of Lauren Bander at www.laurenbander.com
A version of this article appears on GEMINIJUNEMOON.com on November 14, 2014.
looking at fashion as fine arts, architecture, anthropology, an extreme form of human performance.