Stylehunter goes Backstage with Bowie and receives a one-of-a-kind couture jacket to giveaway to a Stylehunter reader!
The Stylehunter team went in to sensory overload last Tuesday night as we ventured backstage at Bowie prior to the showing of his new couture collection Aura, styled by our very own L.A insider, Sophia Banks-Coloma.
Immediately swept up by the man himself, Bowie introduced us to the love affair that he describes as the collection of his dreams.
It took but the holding of one pair of shoes to immediately understand the eclectic designers passion for what he does and how he could no longer picture himself doing anything else. “I am a designer now,” he said.
The shoes worn by the models on the runway were a product of Bowie’s vast imagination and inspired by the leg of a traditional Chinese wedding banquet urn that sits as an ornament in his office.
Upon showing us the shoes and gauging our awed response, he gave in and explained with the air of a man in love the rest of his extraordinary creations.
It is here where the fine line between fashion and art becomes hazy – many of the gowns in the collection take up to three months for completion due the incredible amount of detail and work by hand that is involved.
The opening dress was a mixture of melted marble and silk, whereby sheets of pure organza silk were laid down on melted marble and hung up to dry before being constructed in to one of the most breathtaking gowns we have ever seen.
The final dress was constructed using another of Bowie’s pioneered techniques, which involves wrapping a pearl in fabric, twisting it and pressing it before unraveling the pearl and being left with a spherical shape in the material. This in turn created the illusion that the entire dress was adorned with pearls, generating a texture that has never before been seen on the runway.
These processes were two of the longest used in the collection, amounting to a level of design that sets Bowie miles in front of his competition.
It became apparent when Bowie jumped excitedly from one gown to the next that no element of construction went without consideration or experimentation. Every design process and fabric decision was put to the test, where the collection features elements such as metal stitching, hand made butterflies constructed with feathers, horse hair skirting, intricate threading and fishtail boning.
With such an array of design technique and originality, we had to know where the inspiration for the collection came from. Bowie describes the ethereal legend of The Lady of the Lake, drawing upon her enticing beauty and wistful gaze to complement his couture.
Hair guru Kevin Murphy took the opportunity to fly to Australia solely for the Bowie runway, before taking off to Los Angeles. Murphy collaborated with the designer in what was the epitome of The Lady of the Lake hairstyle; a look that after some research, he decided was ‘wet’.
Murphy told us of a new secret product – one that might be named Surfer Girl – that they were testing, and which enabled the realistically shiny look.
Rather than opting for the usual up do’s that typically accompany bridal and wedding-style couture, the two design radicals decided on a look that appeared to have been set, thrown to the bottom of the lake and whipped back up again. In a process that mirrors the integrity of the gowns, Murphy used a sewing kit to sew the hair rather than pin it, creating an organic, natural shape.
The one product he couldn’t be without whilst creating the look? Texture Master. “They say it will stop a bird in flight,” he said.
Makeup was executed in conjunction with the Lady of the Lake storyline by the incredible artists at Napoleon Perdis. Eyes were a shimmer of silver, paying homage to the wet look desired by both Bowie himself and the Murphy hair team. Lips and cheeks were kept neutral so as to not detract from the gowns, and bodies were splashed with oceanic tones of glitter.
One person whose enthusiasm matched – or even exceeded – the designer’s enthusiasm was Bowie’s partner Matt who also accompanied our team backstage with elaborate stories about how each idea came about. He told us of their adventures to Paris, where Bowie met king of couture Elie Saab, and was instantly inspired to start designing couture.
Catching up with our gorgeous LA insider, Sophia Banks-Coloma (dressed entirely in Bowie and with Louboutins to match) proved just how much consideration went in to every aspect of the visual production. Sophia and Bowie communicated and styled over numerous Skype conversations in the lead up to the show to ensure everything was perfect.
It is quite rare when a collection exceeds the expectation of perfect.
Back home in Australia for a few days during fashion week and to share her stylistic expertise at the Bowie runway, Sophia was excited to pay a visit to Sass and Bide earlier during the day and do some shopping.
Sophia explained the inspiring commitment and artistry she witnessed in the designer’s thought process, his ability to engineer an entirely new method of garment construction and how it was a honor to style such an incredibly beautiful and breathtaking collection.
After the run through had been carefully examined and every aspect was up to the unparalleled Bowie standard, it was time for the Stylehunter team to say goodluck to the beautiful backstage team and head out front to watch the magic unfold on the runway.
With amazing geneoristy, Bowie kindly gave Stylehunter a sample size (approx 6-10) one-of-a-kind couture jacket to amazingly giveaway to one of our Stylehunter readers!
There was ONLY 1 jacket ever made & it could be yours!
With pouts of wool, this uniquely styled crop jacket sports leather arms and a punch of serious style.
To get your hands on this statement piece valued at over $1,000, it’s not an easy task as Bowie himself will draw the winner!
How to enter……
Remember, Refer a friend so they have a chance to enter too!
WINNER will be announced on Facebook and via email, so make sure your a fan!…Hey I’ll help you out here’s the link…
*Giveaway opens on Monday 7th May 2012 and closes on Monday 4th June 2012.Bowie himself will pick the winner based on the best entry. Winner will be announced on Facebook and via email on or before Monday 11th June 2012. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive the Stylehunter.com newsletter