Over the last few seasons, Thakoon has proven himself to be something of a dark horse – laying relatively low and not succumbing to the increasingly popular, though rather tacky use of front row celebrities to raise the profile of his show, instead relying on his infinite talent, and then boom! Coming out with arguably the most sophisticated and compelling collections of New York fashion week. It was little surprise then, that the innovative designer would wow us once again for Spring/Summer 2012, his penchant for cross-cultural and cross-purpose styles resurfacing, but in an entirely new and unexpected way.
Taking East-meets-West to an entirely new extreme, Thakoon’s brilliant – in every sense of the word – collection for spring combined the magnificence of India and the mythical utopia of Shang ri la with the rugged romanticism of America’s Wild West. The baroque opulence of New York’s Plaza Hotel grand ballroom, a space inundated with gilt ornamentation and immense chandeliers, served as the perfect venue for Thakoon’s equally opulent vision. From the gilt ceiling down to the gleaming gold floor and colonial vegetation, the sensory overload reached an all time high as pungent Indian incense burned against a soundtrack merging both cultures – a hint of what was to follow. There was a quiet ruckus from the audience, in obvious rapture at the sight of the very first look: a turquoise silk jacket with marigold paisley overlay paired with a turquoise mini skirt. Cowboy style hats and point-toe shoes, not unlike ankle-length cowboy boots, were paired with traditional Indian textile prints in mad Wild West inspired cuts, along with luxurious gold and paisley detailing consistent throughout. There was even a 50s-era print and metallic full-skirted dress on show, just the thing for a raging desert barn-dance.
Just as the show’s concept transcended time and space, so too did the collection –transporting the audience into a world of pure fantasy, where fabled eras and cultures collide in eccentric harmony. It was a much-needed dose of escapism to say the least, on a day where America was on edge - commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks.