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Monday, March 2, 2015

Theia Fall 2015 - Exclusive Studio Visit

theia fall 2015
theia art nouveau
 I had the honor of visiting designer Don O'Neill to preview the THEIA Fall 2015 collection before much of the world. You can be embedded in the photographer's pit, interview backstage, but nothing lets you see a designer's vision as being in their design studio as they work on the collection itself.

Visiting the design space itself, you can see Don's design process. He started with contemporary Irish furniture designer Joseph Walsh. Specifically, his Lumenoria II collection. Walsh's signature aesthetic are his flowing, sinewy organic lines an naturalistic colors. The table below was a piece that Don O'Neill was moved by when he viewed it at The Salon At + Design Show at the New York Armory this past November. The lines in Walsh's work had symmetries with early 20th century Art Nouveau. The art movement was recognizable for its curved design lines and nature motifs that were popular in interior design, art, jewelry, you name it. Don incorporated all of it in his fall 2015 fashion collection.

joseph walsh design
photos by Mariana Leung
You can see the elegant curved lines in both the dress silhouettes and embroidery design. He tweaked the classic art nouveau dragonfly motif into a more modern butterfly beading. There is a nod to Tiffany glass in his "liquid glass" fabrication.

The sweeping shapes are incredibly flattering on yes, the "average" woman. It may be hard to believe, but I have always been impressed at how much Don takes (real) customer feedback into consideration when he designs THEIA. The style lines are flattering to the curves of the body. They are often "bra-friendly" or have built in fabric construction to give women some extra support in their shape. He adds little touches like shirring in strategic places just in case you (not just hungry celebrities) some breathing room at their next gala. Just in case you were wondering though, that leather halter dress on the left? Yes, Idina Menzel (aka Adele Dazeem) wore that at the Academy Awards last week.

I love seeing a designer and artist at work. Double bonus when THEIA's fashion collection is one that is attainable and one I can picture myself in for a glamorous occasion. Don O'Neill does it again!

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