Last September, I went to the presentation of a new line called Silvio Liu. Debuting its Spring/Summer 2011 collection, the line made an impression on me for its feminine silhouettes, colors and fabric choices. Impressed enough to want to see what future collections would bring.
Designer Brian Wood presented the Silvio Liu Fall 2011 Collection in a downtown space that getting to required several flights of stairs. The collection was well worth the climb. Mr. Wood has taken the line in a natural progression, building on experimenting with different fabrications, an almost architectural approach to construction, and exploration of silhouettes.
The Silvio Liu line for Spring 2011 was primarily about pretty party dresses with a few jackets and a beautiful pleated trench thrown in the mix. For Fall, Mr. Wood has blurred the line between day and evening dressing, making it a richer more varied collection. While some of the pieces are quite obviously geared towards cocktail wear, there are an equal number of pieces that are true daywear pieces. What I love about the majority of the pieces is that they fit into that much sought after category of “day into evening”, with outfits easily being worn for either occasion.
Mr. Wood has continued with his exploration of fabrics, mixing silks, jerseys and woolens with fabrics such as a jacquard neoprene. I was most surprised by the neoprene, since when I hear neoprene I think wet suits, but the jacquard neoprene utilized in this collection doesn’t read as “neoprene” and worked beautifully in the line. The subtle jacquard was especially of note, giving the fabric a true richness. Another fabric of note is a black and white wool oversized plaid used to make a wonderful cape, a cropped jacket with contrast patent leather sleeves, and a full skirt. The patent leather was also put nicely to use as a chic cropped motorcycle jacket that gave a chic edginess to the tiered skirt it was paired with. Colors are suitably Fall with a range of navies, deep blues, black, white, cream and a soft platinum.
Mr. Woods explained that this season was a little darker than spring, taking inspiration from the image of the dominatrix: strong, empowered, a little aggressive, but still having a softness and femininity. The aggressiveness comes out in the bold hues, blending textures and the mix of unorthodox fabrications in the creation of elegant silhouettes. Also, because of his beginning in menswear, Mr. Wood continually plays with the construction and tailoring of garments, acknowledging the gifted pattern makers he works with that help him in this exploration. The complicated drapes and construction are especially appreciated by me and my designer’s eye.
With a line that is modern, feminine and a little edgy, Silvio Liu Fall 2011 is right on track and positions Brian Wood as a designer to continue to keep an eye on.