Make-up artist Karlo and one of the runway models
“This collection is inspired by Spanish architect and sculptor, Santiago Calatrava,” says designer Carlos Campos, while calmly preparing for his showduring New York’s Fashion Week. “Calatrava’s minimalist approach and use of space is very open and clean, it’s the perfect canvas to add an energetic splash of color, and that is what I want to reflect in my clothing for Spring 2013.”
Beyond the huddled mass of scantily clad male models and a team of M.A.C make-up artists, I see the vivid shirts, pants and outerwear hanging meticulously on four separate clothing racks. The palette reminds me of the colors of a flag from a nation I do not know: ocean blue, golden mustard yellow, moss green and creamy white.
“I’ve created the garments with oversized collars and elongated sleeves from my inspiration but added elements of surprise or novelty in the prints, like tiny stars and polka dots,” Campos tells me.
The models filter through the assembly line getting their make-up done by Karlo and the M.A.C. team; then on to hair by Cesar Ramirez and stylists from Moroccanoil. The backstage arena turns from quiet pandemonium into orchestrated chaos and a scene cut directly from a finale episode of “Project Runway” sans Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.
Carlos’ stylist, Julie Ragolia, is frantically but efficiently coordinating the models, assistants and crew. “I think his style this year is fresh and Carlos is renowned for his creative use of color. This collection is easy-to-wear and the garments are interchangeable,” she says while helping a model into his Bermuda-length shorts. “In the past we have taken a very casual, traveled and easy approach but this year the style is more streamline, monochromatic and the models are almost clone-like with the same makeup and hairstyle. It’s a very clean and architectural look.”
One sprite model awkwardly slips into his shoes by Mattew Chevallard Del Toro like, ‘Cinderfella’. A band of color perfectly matches the color of his garments. Another model sporting the Campos’ blue raincoat keeps checking out his look in the window. When he notices that I’m taking pictures, he throws me some gangster hand gestures which was a little odd considering he is obviously Nordic. Julie calls them to order; the task is a little bit like herding (very attractive) ferrets. But she gets the job done. It’s show time.
The models parade onto the runway while 80s music called the audience to attention. The menswear was presented with the same strict formula as the collection itself: green, yellow, blue, white. At the very end of the show, the room applauded with great approval. I turned to a young group of attendees near me and asked them their opinion of the Carlos Campos Spring Collection. “I would love to have any of those garments in my closet next year. In particular I love the blue skinny pants and white shorts.” Said one of the young men who identified himself only as Balthazar.
This collection will be available at the following shops:
13 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002
1079 Willis Ave
Albertson, NY 11507
Photos by PK Greenfield