On a chilly Sunday morning, Victoria Bartlett encouraged the fashionable to hike over to Pier 59 Studios next to the Hudson River. The desolate warehouse effect did wonders for the anatomical representations of her designs in warm animalistic colors. Victoria Bartlett labeled her influences for the Fall/Winter 2011 VPL collection with Piero Manzoni’s (a conceptual artist in the late 50s) cast sculptures created with plaster, feather, metal, Joseph Buey’s (an artist from the early 60s) humanism sculpture concepts that tied everything from felt to resin in his works, Manray’s overstretched photos, and Dustin Yellin’s multi-layered sculptures that appear as anatomical figures. With their influence Bartlett used a vast array of materials to bring a humanistic demonstration to her collection. From laminated nylons, jersey, latex, and wools, the collection was once again full of asymmetrical shape and an abundance of random slices and cuts, leaving us bored with the repetition from her previous seasons.
Aggressive and soft materials counter played in a love hate relationship (“stretch and fold” in Bartlett’s words) with each look. While certain pieces would be outstanding individually (the chain link knitted sweater is to die for) the pieces paired together, layer after layer, make the looks become obsolete and perplexing. With the colors ranging from deer, wood, gold, vivid orange, iron, aluminum and steel, that fit perfectly with the color of Fall/Winter 2011, most of the cuts and stylized pleating were outdated, the pencil skirts reminiscent of a cheap and oversized version of a bandage skirt that was ever so popular three seasons ago.