ALL IN GOOD TIME: In another example of how some designers are no longer restrained by seasonal fashion calendars, Marc Bouwer opted to show his latest haute couture collection with an in-person screening of a 10-minute film showcasing his glittery gowns, evening looks and a splash of sportswear. .
To give the unveiling an added dimension, a few of the models who were featured in the film attended the event and cocktail party wearing Marc Bouwer. But the designer didn’t want to reveal his latest designs before the film debuted, so they wore looks from his previous collections. About 110 people turned up for the gathering, which included cocktails at Soho Works’ Washington Street outpost in New York.
Bouwer said Monday that the timing was in line with July being haute couture month in Europe. All of the designs are bespoke and will be ordered made-to-measure with prices starting at $7,000 and topping off at about $20,000. While the collection is predominantly eveningwear, there are some elements of sportswear, including a three-piece suit and a miniskirt, a tight-fitted jumpsuit with capri pants and another jumpsuit with bell-bottoms.
Bouwer said he had explained to attendees that he is often asked what the theme of a collection is and he believes that “you don’t necessarily need a theme to make great clothes.”
That said, the designer allowed that his 2022-23 haute couture collection is “an ode to women in all their different guises — from the girl to the goddess, the dominatrix to the diva, the warrior to the waif…” he said. “My woman is fearless and fun and she is all colors.”
In addition to thanking the models for “the many hours of fittings” that the collection and the filming of it required, Bouwer singled out hairstylist Denis Boyd, makeup artist Jordan Sawyer and photographer Duke Winn, who has collaborated with Bouwer in the past, for thanks
The designer chose someone close to home to orchestrate the film from start to finish. His husband, Pedro Oberto, directed, filmed, edited and sound checked the short film. Winn shot the stills for the film and acted as second cameraman. Prior to Friday night, only Bouwer, Oberto and the company’s president Paul Margolin had seen the film, which had been shot at Pier 59, in its entirety. For added sound effects, audible traces of chimes, footsteps, whispers, echoes, bells and breathing were added.
Earlier this year, Bouwer also used his artistic skills in a different way. A few of his paintings of Marilyn Manson were animated and incorporated into the HBO two-part series “Phoenix Rising,” a documentary that was produced and directed by the designer’s neighbor and friend Amy Berg.
“Because of social media, most people look at fashion and things that are in the news on their phone, their computer or on their tablet. That’s just how we exist now. Most people don’t go to fashion shows. It’s only elite people, or those who are lucky enough to go to fashion shows,” Bouwer said. “The way that [most] people absorb this information and images is through a visual process that is film today. I have always felt that way about social media and film.”
Bouwer said film also allows you to be more creative, by “creating incredible worlds and moods, as well as being able to stop and start to get them right.”.”
Guests included Gillian Miniter and her husband Sylvester, nightlife performer Kevin Aviance (whose music Beyoncé sampled on her new album “Renaissance”), George Wayne, actor Garrett Swann, Camilla Olsson, Emma Snowdon Jones and Andrew Werner.
With the couture collection all wrapped up, Bouwer is already onto other things. He expects to show his next collection as part of a group show that is being planned for a downtown location right before New York Fashion Week officially gets underway.