Trend-Sketching NYC Bridal Market 2011 – Claire Pettibone

If I made gowns I would want to be Claire Pettibone.  Not trying to be creepy, not at all, I promise.  I have a certain affinity for the aesthetic of this over-the-moon-and-back-talent of a designer who is as humble as humble gets.   I’ll admit I was dying to see her runway show along with the rest of the world.  Space was limited so I  asked for some time in her booth to soak it all in up close and personal, and the team was happy to oblige.  I sat quietly, happy to just observe the mini-show underway where select gowns were model fitted for a small group of onlookers.  Jess snapped details from some of our favorite gowns.  Once considered staunchly traditional fabrics,  are given a fresh life in a clean palette of muted hues.  Toile becomes city-charming with a sophisticated silhouette while rich embroidery seems fitting for a Parisian seaside affair, all  in my vivid imagination.

That is what makes Ms. Pettibone as dynamic and artist as she is.  She makes us want to tell stories with her creations; she encourages us to build an imaginary world where our attire can inspire a whole new, decidedly magical life if only for one very momentous day.  Iconic designers inspire us to dream.

There is no speak of trends here as Claire Pettibone is not about trends, she is about steadfast grace in a world where fashion is fickle.  She grounds her designs with time honored pattern and technique but gives it wings with updated detailing and innovative shapes.

I felt frozen in lovely time warp of Victorian fuss meets modern muss.  A page in my sketchbook was full before I knew what happened.  The remainder of this sketching story had to be told in layers of watercolor glazes and pencil smudge.

As I sketched I thought of romance and was grateful to be in a space where fluffly blooms and pretty detailing layered with more was good.  If I have to draw a trend from my experience capturing the Pettibone details it would center around one prediction.  Romance is here to stay.  Pinks and pales, laces and languid layers are our history and our future.  We will re-define what romance means in fashion, stationery and beyond but it will never fade too far from all that is soft, delicate and in one glance feel loved.

A few moments that took our breath away…