This season we witnessed an explosion of newcomers to the NYFW circuit. There were up to three designers scheduled for any given time slot, all showing simultaneously in different parts of the city – a dizzying array of new talent. It’s an exciting prospect, but a daunting one, to comb through so many new designers (if you try attending all the shows, you’re bound to collapse by Day 3). Fortunately, a few made our job easier, by rising to the top: Rochambeau, Karolyn Pho, and our top pick this season, Charles Youssef.
For his first presentation in New York, Charles Youssef delivered an exploration of light and space with an installation inspired by recessed lighting in architecture, and the work of James Turrell.
Eight pools of light played theatre to a collection comprised of origami folds and geometric tucks. Diamond shapes in tailored sleeves and skirt hems, drawn from the children’s paper game ‘Fortune Teller’ were echoed in dentelle appliqué in both blush silk on silk and burnished metals at hip and collar.
Linear geometry in a minimalist palette of black, charcoal, nude, played through silhouettes of angular, cropped jackets and high-waisted pants balanced with the smooth curves of dresses with a longer hemline, cut here and there with sheer windows of stiff organza.
A measured choreography balanced between light beams and shadow revealed subtle tracks of light concealed in garment pleats and tailoring, illuminating architectural cuts and folds in cropped shells, shoulders and a paneled sheath dress.
Offering a collection of delicately balanced tensions; tough tailoring and fluid lines, architecture and organic form, light and dark, Charles Youssef presents a considered signature for his first showing in New York.