sandy liang’s candy-coated downtown dream
The designer updates her sporty silhouettes with a youthful fantasy inspired by Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette.’
Photos by Mitchell Sams
“I love the Marie Antoinette soundtrack, which kind of like sums everything up,” Sandy Liang said, after her Autumn/Winter 19 presentation. While the Lower East Side designer has become known for her sporty downtown aesthetic, taking inspiration from the easy dressing of Chinatown grandmas, including her own, making the connection between Liang’s latest collection and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is not that far of a stretch. Coppola’s opulent teen queen, played by Kirsten Dunst, is youthful and riotous, and her decadent 18th birthday at Versailles, is soundtracked by New Order. Should there be an even more modern adaptation, her haute couture could easily be swapped out for one of Liang’s dreamy new creations.
On Sunday afternoon in Chinatown, Liang’s diverse cast of models debuted the fresh looks. Richie Shazam wore a puffer vest over a playful polka dot dress. Sweatpants were detailed with gingham ruffles at the seams and a half zip black dress got the same girly treatment. However, it was her final two looks — a black off the shoulder dress with floral-printed tulle sleeves and a nude ruffled number in the same pastel flowers — that topped off the whole candy-coated affair. “I feel like it’s a dreamy meeting of sporty, and like very wearable,” she said. The models wore sneakers with their dresses and wire-rimmed Warby Parker frames, completing a look that’s just as fit for parading down Canal Street. Or maybe even skipping through the gardens of Versailles.
Though Liang’s clothes have always had a unisex feel, she also presented her first official unisex capsule. Male models wore her signature fleeces, updated this season with camo and leopard patches, alongside zippered boiler suits and logo tees. “What I was super excited about was debuting this unisex capsule and I really wanted to show that in the presentation/runway,” the designer said. “I feel like the clothes have always been unisex, but it’s the first time guys are really responding to it in that way. I was so happy about it." The soundtrack nodded to Marie Antoinette too, featuring Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was youthful and fun, much like Liang herself. Alas, we digress. Let them eat cake.