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Irina Shabayeva Spring 2012 Fashion Show — A Freestyle Era Flow







Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City is always an all-hands-on-deck situation. Fashion aficionados approach this week-long period with a near religious solemnity, wearing their Sunday best to each scheduled affair and examining every silhouette, seam, and fabric choice with rapt attention, as if they were taking mental notes during a preacher’s sermon. Since we want to bring you as much original content as possible here at Sicka Than Average, we mobilize eagerly, developing strategic plans to hit each and every buzz-worthy show and presentation. Our Contributing Editor, the fabulous Izzy Ruiz, made an appearance at the Irina Shabayeva Spring 2012 show, which took place at the Audi Forum Showroom in Midtown East on the evening of September 14th.

Here’s what Izzy had to say about Irina’s spunky collection:

    At eleven, I was infatuated with the brassy attitude and big-haired flash of late ’80s, all-female freestyle groups like Cover Girls and Sweet Sensation. Their body conscious lycra dresses made them appear foxy and confident — even while singing about emotionally vulnerable states and channeling a crushing brokenheartedness. That rogue, delicious, nothing-will-hold-me-down interpretation of womanhood flashed before my eyes at the Irina Shabayeva Spring 2012 show, where models strutted down the runway in technicolor mini dresses made of skin-tight lycra with trompe l’oeil lace prints. Yellow, lime, watermelon, and electric blue dominated the color palette, underlining the collection’s ’80s influence, while cut-outs crept up in unexpected places (one canary yellow dress featured demure oblong-shaped cut-outs above the hips while a purple mini dress showcased cut-outs below the shoulders, with V-shaped strips connecting the body of the dress to the longer sleeves). 

 Outer layers were even spunkier — particularly the gel-like trench coats, which were youthful due to the sheer quality of the vinyl-like material and the vibrant color choices (from a deep magenta to an electric blue and a daffodil yellow), but their tailoring was so exquisite that the pieces still looked posh. Double rows of silver-toned buttons, for example, gave the illusion of a double breast construction, piped collars and sleeves slimmed the coats’ silhouettes, and waist-tie belts again added a classical polish to these wholly nontraditional garments.

Some pieces missed the mark — crocheted knit sweater felt like beach-appropriate cover-ups and yet they seemed out of place in a collection that integrated no bathing suits (beyond those peeking out from beneath these hoodies and cardis) and that had a decidedly urban attitude. Aside from the occasional skirt, there were few separates, which disappointed me given Shabayeva’s known aptitude for well-tailored pieces.

Similarly, a strapless black taffeta gown with a tulip skirt lined in petunia pink and the sparkling floor-length midnight blue gown that closed the show felt disconnected in relation to the other pieces, which had a club kid exuberance.

In other words: some serious editing would have elevated the show to the next level. Still, those gel trenches left me breathless, and I couldn’t help but lust after the Skittles-colored mini dresses and leather finger gloves. The side ponytails and cascading barrel waves created by hair stylist George Ortiz perfectly played into my freestyle fancies.

So, ladies and gents, that’s the scoop from Izzy Ruiz. Check out more photos from the show after the jump.










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