By BEATRICE DUPUY
NEW YORK (AP) — Looking down on the New York Fashion Week crowd, model Frida Aasen dramatically flung her LaQuan Smith shearling coat from the balcony of the ritzy Rockefeller Center Rainbow Room and emerged down the cascading staircase following the infamous words of “Dynasty” actress Joan Collins:
“I now own this house.”
While the display was intended to evoke the ’80s Hollywood glamour inspiration behind Smith’s Monday night show, it was also a subtle reminder to his attendees that this was a house that LaQuan Smith has built from the ground up into a global luxury brand launching with Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
As Aasen descended with a briefcase, fashion week attendees got a close-up look at the artful tailoring of the neckline of her little black mini dress. Smith told The Associated Press that his collection was inspired by the nostalgia of the “Dynasty” television series and James Bond films.
“I wanted to create a collection that really focused on tailoring menswear suits, sharp clean lines that still create a sense of edge, sophistication and sex appeal,” Smith said after the show.
One by one, models descended the staircase in his beautifully impressive designs — from the black sheer dress with a plunging neckline and black satin bottom that rose at the hips and dipped below the belly button to the dazzling dress draped with black fringe.
It was only fitting that as Smith displayed his menswear pieces that rapper and red carpet style star Lil Nas X was sitting in the front row. In a refreshing take on menswear, Smith’s latest pieces included a double-breasted men’s suit jacket that was cropped at the hips while another look featured a sheer black button down with a neck tie under a black suit jacket.
Smith departed from his use of bright colors last season to incorporate warmer rich tones, from the body-hugging, velvety eggplant-colored evening wear dress to the olive full-length bodysuit and ivory trousers paired with a sheer blouse. Smith mixed in some patterns, including a sheer chiffon polka-dot dress and a form-fitting, nude-and-black striped dress.
“This collection is really rich in texture, and it screams luxury quality,” Smith said.
When asked what’s next for the brand, Smith said he plans on debuting his accessories line soon. At the show Monday, models donned large heart-shaped pendants and futuristic oversized sunglasses.
The significance of Smith’s rise to success and his latest show at the Rainbow Room was not lost on his guests.
“I don’t think people really understand how big of a deal that they expect someone to come and have a show here because the Rainbow Room is very exclusive and that is historical in many movies and parties we might have seen in the good old days,” supermodel Coco Rocha said.
Along with Rocha, front row celebrities at the event included singer Teyana Taylor, actor and fashion muse Julia Fox and Ashley Biden, daughter of U.S. President Joe Biden.
“Fashion designers are like the vanguards of innovation, and I love his clothes,” Biden said.
Andrew Bray contributed to this report.
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