collina strada fall/winter 17 has everything you need for your mission to mars
Hillary Taymour wants off of this lousy planet, and we can't say we blame her. So this season, the Collina Strada designer — who's been advancing a language of languid, luxe utilitarianism since 2008 — created her collection about the prospect of leaving it. How might starting anew push humans beyond socially-constructed preconceptions of race, gender, and nationality that divide us here on Earth? To find out, Taymour's heading to Mars.
"I'm such a Mars junky. I watch all the Mars things on National Geographic; I want to marry Elon Musk," Taymour laughed. "He's single, I'm single, let's do it. I want to be the queen of Mars." Terraforming isn't exactly uncharted turf for Taymour; previous presentations have ventured to the red planet (for spring/summer 16, she installed enormous pink rocks at Milk Studios). This season, the designer converted her Pier 59 show space into a pre-mission holding room, where models alternated between lying on cots and standing at attention. "Think of a quarantine school gymnasium," Taymour explained. "They're waiting to get on the shuttle to go to Mars because everything else is a catastrophe outside."
Though fall/winter 17 took interstellar travel as its starting point, the clothing didn't feel so far outside of Collina Strada's universe. Taymour's nailed laid-back tailoring, and updates classics in durable fabrics with an effortless coolness. Ruffle-adorned dresses and boxy cut trousers reappeared this season, but the designer refreshed the looks by thinking about the kinds of people who'd be peacing out from planet earth. "It was still monochromatic and pretty simple, but we added some luxe details like rhinestones and pearls. Obviously, the person who is going to Mars is going to be a bit more sexy and have some money," Taymour reasoned. She experimented with different fabrications, like super durable nylons and rich velvets, as well as techniques like smocking to give things a special, textured feel.
If this season's clothing spoke to the kinds of people who'd be traveling to Mars, its casting was all about those Taymour actually wants to share the shuttle with. "We wanted to use people that we vibe with — who are generally good humans and who want to make a difference," Taymour explained. They ranged in ages and genders, and many hailed from Muslim-majority nations Trump's travel ban impacts. "We had a Sudanese refugee, someone from Somalia," plus other models from Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen. "I was trying to Noah's Ark every color, every gender, to go and rehabitat another planet," said Taymour.
With Taymour's odyssey soundtracked by Cara Stricker's "apocalyptic 90s urban house beats — super psychedelic, Beethoven on acid," we're about ready for life on Mars.
Text Emily Manning
Photography courtesy Soraya Zaman