The color red is synonymous with many different concepts and feelings, especially in the fashion and beauty industry. The strongest association with red in fashion, however, is sex appeal.
“True Red”, Katie Gallagher’s 13-piece collection for NYFW Fall/Winter 2018, explores the primal symbolism of the signature color, presenting a bewitching antithesis to its usual romantic connotations. Gallagher invites onlookers to embark on this expansion of meaning and see the color red, true red, through her eyes.
While the looks are primarily black, the crimson accents add to the mysterious and emotionally captivating attitude of the collection. Military berets, leather tights, silk satin ribbon, and rose hair accessories all contribute to the equally whimsical and mysterious mood of each look. Gallagher’s decision to keep the signature hue of her collection only in the accessories is clever and perceptive in that it increases the impact when used sparingly. The concept that “less is more” works well in complimenting the minimal style of the designs.
Now, minimal only refers to the complete look and tendency to keep layers to the lowest common denominator. The cunning combination of textiles of various weights and textures assists in creating visual interest without overwhelming the eye, beckoning viewers to take a closer look at the authentic craftsmanship. Sheer mesh, velvet, and heavy wool are an unusual medley of fabrics, but they are never combined in a way that they compete for attention in the same garment. When the mesh is used, it is only in one layer, which allows the heavier fabrics to balance the look. The grosgrain ribbon accents on the sleeves also add a relief to the light tension created by the fabric mixing.
The styling is consistent with form-fitting tops being paired with loose mesh skirts and tights. Nothing feels forced or calculated, which helps reinforce the authentic, instinctual ambiance of the entire collection. All in all, Katie Gallagher demonstrates a sensitivity to mixing textiles with intention, while making it look effortless and changing the often mundane understanding of the dynamic color red.
Written by Ka’Dia Dhatnubia
Photos by Lorraine Ciccarelli for Lorraine Ciccarelli Photography
Cover Image by Rachel Scroggins