Evgenia A/W 2015: The Tempest Collection
Please note some of these images are NSFW
Evgenia's newest collection is moody, dark, and absolutely dreamy. It was inspired by the imagery in the Octavio Paz short story 'My Life with the Wave' about a man who falls for a beautiful, mysterious, tempestuous woman personified as a wave. Designer Stephanie Bodnar's thoughtful take on this tortured and turbulent love affair has translated to pieces that are both sensuous and strong, just like the passionate wave in the story.
I have to say a large part of this collection's success is in the exceptionally well executed campaign photography by Kelly Puleio. Stormy skies and a brooding landscape make for the perfect backdrop to showcase the Tempest collection. The way the wind creates snaking tendrils of hair over the model's face and whips up the edge of the garments is like a wave come to life. Muted greys and silvers make the atmosphere feel positively damp, and give life to Evgenia's gorgeous floral silks.
This collection is a departure from the Stephanie's Spring/Summer collection Night Garden. While the vintage references to the 1920s and 30s remain, these pieces are much more sultry. Whereas Night Garden was overtly feminine, Tempest is pure femme fatale. You'll notice Evgenia's distinctive starry French lace is used this season as well, though to a much greater degree. We see it in the return of Stephanie's Kestos-inspired bra, and carried as a major design element in most of the Tempest collection.
There's an amazing contrast of textures and prints happening here. You wouldn't think a graphic lace paired with lush florals would work, but the result is really exciting and unexpected. Stephanie worked with a friend and illustrator, Valerie Santillo, on the gorgeous print used throughout the collection. The varying shades of blues on an inky background have a lovely mercurial sort of quality that is so striking and sophisticated.
The long gown is such a showstopper! Starry lace creates a plunging bodice that receives its shaping from seams under the bust. These seams add a striking linear element that mirrors the piping along the bodice edge. The pieced skirt is cut to fit snugly over hips and thighs, with a pointed V at the front (a recurring design element throughout the collection) and a sweeping bias cut skirt. The gown fastens at the hip the way Stephanie's tap panties and half slip fasten, with a bound edge that closes with tiny little buttons. While this causes a gap at the hip, this is a common design feature in vintage undergarments, and allows for a tantalizing sliver of skin to peek through.
Stephanie began making Art Deco-inspired camisoles back in her Honeycooler Handmade days, and I'm pleased to see they continue to feature prominently in Evgenia's collections. Their generous cut makes them full bust friendly and versatile (they're long enough to easily incorporate into outerwear or to wear as indulgent sleepwear). The Tempest collection also sees the addition of a cropped cami. Cut in a swingy trapeze shape, you'll note the pointed V motif along the straight top band. The front is nearly transparent in the sheer starry lace, while the back is floral silk charmeuse. For extra flirt, it's paired with coordinating knickers that have a fun flounce on the upper edge.
Stephanie's ribbon corsets are featured for A/W 2015, and are given edge with leather detailing. The photos of looks that utilize these corsets are some of the strongest in the bunch. There's a wonderful play of textures and harder edges paired with flowing silhouettes that is especially lovely. I'm dreaming of wearing one of Evgenia's silk camisoles paired with a ribbon corset, while listening to Lena Horne sing 'Stormy Weather' (of course!).
If you are also a fan of the photography on this collection, make sure to check out the video at the bottom. It's really fantastic.