On Saturday evening, former Minneapolis designer (and Project Runway contestant) Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman rejoined forces with local jewelry designer Robyne Robinson of ROX for a presentation showcasing his Spring/Summer 2012 line at Happy Monkey Studio in Manhattan’s Garment District. I unfortunately was not able to make it, but Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo was on the scene and snapped some pics. In another local twist, former Minneapolis hairstylist Kelsy Osterman (now with Cutler Salon in New York) led the hair for the presentation.
Unsurprisingly, these pieces look a lot like the last collection Ra'mon sent down a runway - his Spring 2010 line, which he showed back in fall 2009 at New York Fashion Week. They're wearable, chic, and modern, packed with color and prints, but a bit on the commercial side. It's a side of Ra'mon we didn't see during his time on Project Runway, nor in his more avante-garde looks he showed during his time in Minneapolis, particularly during his Spring 2008 "Eluded Love" collection that he showed at MNfashion Week.
Of the pieces he showed, there were a few standouts - the blue shirtdress appears to have some interesting fabric contrasts, as well as a nice detail in the patterned collar. Same goes for the white men's shirt (far right, above) - classic with a twist makes for great design. The left and center patterned dresses, though, seem like something we've seen before without bringing anything new to the table.
The blue shirtdress at a second glance is indeed quite intriguing. I wish I could have seen this in motion.
That's a great color combination and cut on the men's shirt on the left. It really encapsulates Ra'mon's menswear aesthetic - neatly-cut and European in styling, executed in a bold color and slightly exotic pattern. The slouchy silk dress (center) is pure Ra'mon - the draped shoulder detail over the cinched waist gives a sophisticated yet relaxed look, and the rich color and subtle print are just perfect. I'm not sure what's going on with the men's look pictured on the right - it looks sort of like a men's onesie, and cuts the model in half at a weird spot.
I appreciate the color combinations and mixing of prints in the above looks, but these pieces on their own look fairly basic to me. I would have liked to see more of the striped pants - they have possibilities but the styling of the blue top over it makes it look more sloppy than chic-ly relaxed. The skirt on the left is sort of ugly, to be honest - it looks like she has a curtain for her crotch.
The black and white patterned dress has an interesting neckline, and the shirring on the sides is masterfully done. A chic, flattering little dress any girl would love to wear.
I like what Ra'mon did with the placketed shirtdress - a little bit of on-trend sheerness mixed with a bold print in a demure silhouette, which is just the way to play sheer fabrics.
One other slight criticism: from these photos, it's hard to see an overall thread running throughout the collection. One one hand, you have these lovely unstructured shirtdresses with contrasting fabrics; on another, a sort of breezy, tropical feel. But overall, it's good to see Ra'mon back in the game, working toward his strengths - namely, color and pattern - and pulling some chic looks together. But as a longtime Ra'mon fan, I long for the days of the more sculptural, artful designs he was known for.
As far as the jewelry goes, this is some of Robyne's best work to date - bold, luxe and statement-making, without being overbearing or overdesigned. More new ROX designs are pictured below:
[Photos by Nancy Ngo, Amy Gee and The Style Circuit]
Click here for more photos by Amy Gee and here for a review by The Style Circuit.