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Michael Angel Resort 2012
Michael Angel is a relatively new luxury womenswear label, and a personal favorite of mine. Establishing his eponymous label in 2008, Angel designed a capsule Spring/Summer 2008 ready to wear collection, which was followed, by the labels debut runway collection at New York Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2009, making this Resort 2012 collection the fifth full collection to date.
Angel was born & grew up in Melbourne, Australia where by the age of eighteen he was appointed as the Senior Visual & Creative Supervisor for SABA (Australia’s most successful department store.) Spending eight years at the company, Angel was influential in the brands exceptional growth and expansion by organising many successful runway shows and marketing campaigns. Angel then went on to translate his clear aptitude in the visual and creative fields by becoming the Style Director for Melbourne Fashion Week and also the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, gaining recognition and respect within the industry. Angel’s talents include over ten years experience as an international stylist, working on both major campaigns and with celebrities, and for the past six years he has also produced both manual and digital artwork, revolutionizing the use of digital prints within fashion by combining tromp l’oeil techniques with distorted prints, a process which he perfected over two years and which is now his labels signature. This has led to much critical acclaim and continued interest in both the fashion and art world of the designers work, notably capturing the attention of American Vogue’s Anna Wintour, earning him a mention in their September 2008 issue.
Angels latest collection, Resort 2012, debuted on the sixth of June at New York Fashion Week. Reworking and deconstructing the Hawaiian print shirt by reversing his usual technique of blowing up photographs, Angel compressed and tiled the hibiscus blossom images, using the pattern sparingly on only a few pieces Angel delicately avoided straying into the realm of the cliche; instead he has given us a collection that cleverly balances elements of frivolity with his own unique modern take on elegant dressing. Angel’s collection features vibrant splashes of prints including a huge screen printed portrait of Christy Turlington, his muse for A/W on a cleverly draped maxi skirt, toughened up with a black leather top featuring cut out shoulders. This contrast of hard and soft textures is a common thread throughout the collection, which adds depth whilst ensuring the models are not lost in a sea of prints. Angel has also continued his use of latex into this collection, which I personally love. It not only conveys a sense of empowered sexuality but by choosing to design a classic trench coat in a white translucent hue Angel reinvents this material, transforming our perception of latex into both a practical and chic yet fashion forward material. Angel also shows us he is no one trick pony. Creating a tomato red long sleeved maxi dress, he continues the color blocking trend over to next year, also demonstrated with his nude skirt and halter neck top combination, proving that he does not merely rely on his prints to convey his message, but is also a talented at tailoring. Angel’s Resort collection features many mid length and maxi skirts, which are both elegant and subtly sexy and also provide a bigger canvas for his signature prints to create a bigger impact, which works beautifully. His models take on an air of living, moving works of art as the striped, mottled and ombre digital prints jump out at the viewer due to his drapery and clever tromp l’oeil printing techniques, art-house elegance one might say. Angel ensures that his designs flatter the silhouette by cinching in waists, cut away detailing, cropped jackets and controlling volume, giving his collection wearability in addition to desirability.
In my opinion this collection is the best Resort 2012 collection I have seen, it ticks all the boxes from elegance, modernity, femininity and practicality right through to brilliant craftsmanship, revolutionary design and even being suited to the season, I could not commend this more, and look forward to Michael Angel’s future offerings.