Fashion

NYFW: Katty Xiomara innovates with velvet and shimmer

Think hipster chic with a high fashion sensibility.

Courtesy of MAO PR

Take some staple hipster trends, varnish them with gold, finish them off with high-quality stitching and detailing, and you've got Katty Xiomara's Fall/Winter 2017 collection, which debuted February 13 at Pier 59 Studios. Familiar styles were polished made new, giving high-fashion life to looks that would otherwise be preppy, quirky fare for the Williamsburg crowd, making the presentation's high-energy indie rock soundtrack appropriate.

Courtesy of MAO PR

Courtesy of MAO PR

The show opened with a mid-calf length, high-necked dress in shimmering gold fabric with naturalistic-looking gold sequins, followed by a tan coat with big, fuzzy bell sleeves and collar, two very original pieces that found a place between elegant and unusual. The color palette overall was made of creams, tomato and terracotta reds, pinks, cranberry, and navy. Velvet, apparently the breakout star of the Fall/Winter 2017 season, was utilized on loose short pants and swingy dresses that balanced out the fabric's weight; one of the most memorable garments was a short, cranberry velvet shirtdress with ruffles at the chest and pale pink silk trim on the cuffs and collar. This, like most of the outfits, was styled with to-die-for pointed-toe oxfords in gold.

Courtesy of MAO PR

Courtesy of MAO PR

Thin, sparkly shirts in nearly-sheer fabric with small pussy bows were featured in pink, blue, and black, layered under full sequin dresses, or even under velvet spaghetti-strap dresses, which had almost a 90s feel to it. More on the preppy end were shirts and dresses with fantastic, pattern embroidered collars—including one entirely sheer dress with flared wrists and hem, layered over a fitted halter dress. Injecting a dose of playfulness were shorts and overalls (yes, high-fashion overalls without a hint of farmer or club kid in sight), covered in a whimsical owl print. The collection vaguely nodded to different semblances of throwback (the 90s layering, the 40s secretary blouses) but without replicating "vintage" looks—which is to say, it felt very forward-thinking and innovative, as exemplified by the makeup. Models wore glossy, popsicle-dyed pink lips with overdrawn, faux-unruly eyebrows. It's a little bit the strong brow of the 40s, a little bit the drawn-in brows of Instagram circa now, and a hint of something else—perhaps what's next.

Fashion

NYFW: ICB heads to the mountains

The winter sports-inspired collection makes techy, sporty design wearable.

By Kohei Kawashima

Plenty of designers have been taking the "autumn" part of the "autumn/winter season" part literally, from Halloween tones at Katie Gallagher to a dancing leaf man at Dan Liu, which has worked out better than you might expect. Along a similar line, ICB's Fall/Winter 2017 collection, which debuted February 14 at Skylight Clarkson Square, is, well, wintry. It takes inspiration from mountain climbing gear and winter athletic clothing. And despite the strong sporty influence, the collection manages to be well-rounded.

By Kohei Kawashima

By Kohei Kawashima

Some ensembles in the collection, to be clear, simply are winter gear—heavy, weather-proof fabrics in cobalt and white. But even the less literal pieces are styled with bungee cords, beanies, and boots by CAT (yes, the construction equipment company) and incorporate bonded jersey, thick materials, stark whites and blacks, and sharp, sporty angles. Models have rosy cheeks and slightly wet-looking hair, as if they just came in from the snow. One particularly successful ensemble was an athletic-looking but very wearable layered sweater/jacket and pants outfit in bright mountain white. A bonded jersey jacket, zipped up literally to the chin, was worn under a thick, deep-V jersey sweater, and with matching slim-fit pants with geometric stitching. The fit of the pants and use of contrasting angles in the tops kept the all-white outfit from verging into Michelin Man territory.

By Kohei Kawashima

By Kohei Kawashima

Techy detailing featured in most of the collection, including one cobalt and black shearling jacket, the lines and moto-esque wrist buckles of which made it feel more fashion than fare for snowboarding. The pieces layered underneath, shiny and warm-looking wool sweaters and pants, truth be told, are just very good winter basics (some actual, practical ready-to-wear isn't unwelcome). Other techy, athletic-influenced pieces, like a blue tunic with exquisite lines, a white button-down with a kilted angle on the front, and one ensemble featuring a pencil skirt, trousers, trench vest, and slim striped sweater all in monochrome, were absolutely wearable—they read as upgrades to the basics they're based off of, a surprising blend between business or streetwear and athletic wear. Though sporty influences so often tend to be bland, done, and simply unpretty and unartistic, the infusion in ICB's collection was impeccably done.

FILM & TV

'Dolores' documentary closes Athena Film Fest with cheers

The biographical documentary about legendary labor activist Dolores Huerta is the intersectional story we need right now.

IMDb

Activism. Civil rights. Racism. Politics. Labor.

While Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading the charge for social change on the East coast, another revolution was underway out west. Though many know who Cesar Chavez was, fewer know of Dolores Huerta, an equally important figure in the labor rights and immigrant rights movement that began in California in the 1960s. That's what the documentary Dolores, which premiered in New York February 12 at Athena Film Festival (after its world premiere at Sundance last month), sought to change.

Peter Bratt's documentary tells the story of Dolores and her cause, an often grisly one, in an engaging and exciting spirit—not unlike the feeling of civic action itself, fighting the good fight against seemingly unsurmountable odds. The tone is set immediately, as the opening sequence intercuts soundbites about Huerta with lively music and clips of dancing. Despite heavy subject matter, the film isn't out to beat its viewers over the head with information or to depress them—it's a celebration of Dolores' accomplishments and her drive. Interviewees range from Dolores' children to figures like Gloria Steinem, sprinkling footage of Huerta being praised by politicians of decades ago and of late for her work.

This is important, and well-deserved. The conditions Huerta was organizing to fight against were gruesome: in the 1960s, undocumented immigrants were easy targets for labor exploitation, underpaid for arduous, long hours working for the agriculture industry. (Sound familiar?) What's worse, the gratuitous use of dangerous pesticides had led to cancer clusters in children whose mothers worked in agriculture and were constantly exposed to the chemicals. Birth defects and stillbirths were rampant. And the connection to current events, the fact that so many of these issues are still not resolved, makes this an important time for this story to be told.

Still, the film manages to cover this awful truth, sparing no detail or image, without detracting from the celebration of Huerta's well-earned legacy. The history is told chronologically, weaving in national figures and events such as the death of Robert F. Kennedy, who had vocally supported Huerta and the National Farm Workers Association before his assassination in 1968. Such historical background helps contextualize the narrative for those who may be less clued in to the history of the labor rights movement. And the overall high-spirited tone of the documentary is appropriate, especially considering the focus of the festival, "a celebration of women and leadership." Huerta may be comfortable behind the scenes, putting her work before her name, but it's easy for women to go unsung while men become legends. Huerta deserves to be remembered, and the cheering audience that gathered with her to see this film—a room that included women of all ages, including Gloria Steinem and Dolores herself—ensures that she will.