After months of tumbleweeds sales, Christmas came early for Michael Halpern. “Just before December, when the new collection went into stores, he picked it up and sold it out. I don’t know who owns it or where they are going, but it shows some light at the end of the tunnel, ”said the designer on a video call from his Vauxhall studio. The hope he gave him for a fall collection was heightened by feelings of urgency: “what people wear when they come out of a lockout. ”
Last year, Halpern devoted himself and his brand to pandemic relief efforts. He spent the summer making PPE in a confinement factory, and pushed the September collection to the front line, decorating his heroines in demi-couture for a digital documentary show that attracted more than a few fans. -lookers crying. That outfit was a true high-octane social escapism – if that’s not a complete oxymoron – it was only worn for inspiration. Now, Halpern said, now is the time to make those dreams come true.
Thinking about how we want to dress in August, when a mediocre dance party might be an option, he looked at unrestricted 1970s and ’80s club clothes: catsuits, jumpsuits, and things that were ‘feels like something you could wear to a nightclub on a yacht, a real swimsuit with a matching leopard sarong is a great addition. “I saw an old interview with Meryl Streep, who said she enjoyed dancing in a catsuit because nothing gets better. ‘She made such a sound,’ he laughed.
Halpern’s idea of the emergency wardrobe was not without irony. It was the extravagant sequins, graphic intarsia patterns, diamanté braziers, and satin-scarlet sequins that made up this collection – and, in general, mind – were not his recommendation for a daytime look. after a pandemic. But they were not follies at all. “You want to get dressed again. You want it to feel different than usual. It’s not something chiffon you wrap around at home, it’s something you go into. ”
Just don’t mention the word C. “I’m so sick of wearing comfort,” he said. “Everyone I spoke to is so tired of what they’re wearing now: simple, comfortable…” said Halpern, tasting these adjectives. “That champagne is burnt!” he smiled, picking up words DynastyDominique Deveraux. “I wanted to tailor not ‘luxe home tailoring’ but real tailoring, in sequins and duchesse. It’s about being ostentatious but not feeling heavy. It has to feel easy. ”
Unlike last season’s emotional film, it presented the collection as a simple photoshoot. “It felt appropriate. In September we were not locked up. This time we are. “It was a fitting feeling for Halpern’s approach at this time. While he doesn’t deny that the glamor of what he does is far from the reality we have right now, he has put these sequins to work for a good cause. Now, as we cross our fingers for a gradual return to the life that Halpern sells him clothes, he tries to transform his business product in a pragmatic way.
“You’re worried if your business is going to continue the way it was,” he said, reflecting on the past year. “After a time of not selling high glamor at lockdown, for people to buy it again it feels like all our work in the past year has been paid off. I wanted to keep doing beautiful things, not in a small way, but in a serious and earnest way. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but seeing it moves again is beyond words for me. ”