Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Karolina

In a city of been there, done that, has-beens and hopefuls, Karolina Zmarlak is a New York designer capable of conjuring high-concept, utterly original work from the crowded air. In other words: she’s a gem. Her second collection (Debut carried her first this past Autumn/Winter 2009 season) continues to capture a sort of insouciant, luxe effervescence that defines the new “downtown” aesthetic, which fashion people expound so frequently on. And yes, her polished fabrications, cuts and draping will take you from the Bowery to Bemelman’s if so inclined.

What we love is the quiet transformative powers her rich color-blocked and monochrome creations possess. The best-selling “Power Pant” is the sleekest of trousers with a flattering kick hem, imagined as a layer that can move from beneath the frailest of frocks, to the main element of a look when paired with a loose tank, slouchy silk vest or contoured plum leather blazer.  These pants are a necessity for those looking to move beyond ubiquitous leggings. A cousin skirt has a similar adaptable quality, and can be effortlessly flipped inside, out and back again – from deep black to soft, pale netting.

Karolina intends for her garments to be worn as chosen by their owners, and titled the range “Fluid Foundations” – to be stylized and personalized. The notion is underscored with each item presenting itself as one you didn’t know you needed.  All classic, fluid silks, soft leathers and flattering construction inspired by performance-wear. Truly empowering.

* Plum silk zip back dress with corset belt

* Plum leather blazer, dove silk drape tank, Power pant in nude

* Reversible black/nude pencil skirt

* The "kick" hem, Power Pant

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