Spring 2013 is all about juxtaposition for Chadwick Bell. Inspired by the vastness of the desert, adobe structures, and bold Southwestern shapes, the dichotomy of austerity and adornment is clear in his collection from start to finish, which begins with viscose jerseys and optic white jacquards, and evolves into colorful guipure lace. Themes of duality are evident in the fabrics used, from softer georgette and viscose to structured leather and cotton. Native pottery patterns are used to adorn coats and jackets, while stacked paillette necklaces and lace motif shoes carved of pony skin collaborate for a more embellished appearance. Entitled Nirvana, Bell’s collection is about the “crusade for clarity, stripping down the artifice, and exposing a truer self”.
Stephanie Schwartz - Describe your creative process.
Chadwick Bell - I am really quite cerebral. The initial process comes from music, certain sounds just resonate within me and I go from there. This show is largely inspired by the eighties song “Superman” by Morgan Anderson. I love to take really traditional pieces and make them modern, I love the juxtaposition.
SS - What are the details that you really want your audience to notice this season?
CB - I’ve really dissected the body in a really interesting way. I’ve cut up the body using geometric shapes, sheer paneling, using different sides of the fabric in different squares… this collection is really all about dissecting the body but in a way that she [the wearer] will still feel is flattering to her body, not cutting her off in a strange place.
SS - Is there a specific designer whose career you seek to emulate?
CB - Yves St Laurent is someone I really love. I love partnerships. I love the foundation of having someone to hold on to. And Marc Jacobs of course Marc Jacobs is so fearless.
SS - What is your favorite thing about New York Fashion Week?
CB - The girls and guys on the street. They look amazing.
SS - You come from a unique background, your great grandfather was a carpenter from Scotland- how has that influenced your work?
CB - Tenacity. My father is a perfectionist, very detail oriented, and I am the same way. I like to see how far you can go, how far you can take something. I want to master a skill to the fullest. Of course there are always lots of failures, but that’s how you grow. I couldn’t go into their business. I used to work with them, but I was always dreaming, always thinking of clothes. It was a way to escape.