lou dallas' show is a fantastical journey into the art world
For spring/summer 2020, the designer explores anti-capitalism and sustainability through her astrology-inspired collection.
Outside of Lou Dallas’ spring/summer 2020 show at Ray Smith’s studio, the New York cool kids slowly started to arrive in their never-ending, colorful outfit permutations. In the crowd was Hunter Schafer, Euphoria’s costume designer Heidi Bivens, Jo Rosenthal, Tia Johnson, and Justin Ludwig, to name a few.
From Ray Smith’s art throughout the room, to the vibrant backdrop created by Violet Oliphant O'Neill, the site was a collage of mediums, textures, and colors. It would become clear after seeing the collection that the setting and design of the show was just a preview of what was about to come down the runway.
Raffaella Hanley, the designer behind Lou Dallas and this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, created the collection titled “Saturn’s Bite” using Goodwill jeans, upholstery, and deadstock fabrics, as well as upcycled Swarovski crystals. The designer’s focus on sustainable and responsible fashion was not lost, as each of the looks were an amalgam of materials and patterns, creating a Mod meets folk look, complete with Big hair inspired by 90s Prada.
Hanley reinterpreted familiar tailored pieces like blazers, trousers, and skirts, but never without a hefty dose of imagination. There were the usual suspects like knit cardigans, t-shirts, and jeans, along more stylized pieces like a blazer with at least three different colors and textures, and a geometric collar shaped to the likes of Lisa Simpson’s hair. The brightly colored, metallic, and sometimes sheer tights and socks on every outfit added a playful layer to the already multi-hued ensemble.
So where does Raffaella Hanley envision the Lou Dallas running off to? Everywhere, anywhere. “They can go to art openings in it. They can go to dinner in it. They can go to work in it. I feel like they can live their life in it.”