Catherine Malandrino Takes Us Around the World, One Drape at a Time.

Luigi Tadini

Catherine Malandrino and I share a passion for traveling. Unlike Catherine, the memories I bring home from my adventures abroad remain two-dimensional (photos, journal entries, etc.). Malandrino, on the other hand, gives new life to the memories she has gathered globe-trotting, as evidenced in today’s showing of her spring collection. The incredible aesthetic sensibilities of this Franco import are unquestionable and her unique understanding of the female form has become the well-known secret of her successful business. The Malandrino woman, a high spirited and adventurous city girl, is echoed in every detailed bedding and asymmetric draping. In the past ,the designer sought inspiration in the women of New York and Paris weaving together the energy of the former and the romance of the latter, and in the process she created the identifiable and unmistakable Malandrino persona -- a dynamic, adventurous, youthful and feminine type.

This season, the designer went on a journey to far away lands and in her luggage brought back a melting pot of influences. The four different tableaux spanned across the Sudan, the Sahara desert, the mountains of Peru and the calm waters of Polynesia. Turbans and intricate necklaces added to the multi-ethnic affair, as the "Afropean" duo Les Nubians serenaded guests. The fresia short sleeve jacket paired with an Inca-inspired printed chiffon top captured the essence of one of the world's oldest cultures; the strength of the Sudanese woman were represented in cropped noir leather jackets; the ease of viscose tunics and linen harem pants paid homage to the nomadic tribes of the Sahara; and an ocean green ruffled chiffon dress personified the mermaid-like figures of Polynesian folklore. Some designers simply design while others inspire. Catherine is a good example of the latter.

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