by Ranjani Gopalarathinam
Robert Geller has spun countless dreams for New York's shopping set with Cloak menswear, but his uniquely downtown fashion takes on new meaning with his women's collection, Harald. The line achieves a new femininity that is at once soft and edgy, using a nocturnal palette and medieval-inspired details. "Pleats and tucks and bindings and pipings are all very important," Geller says. "I never use them to make the clothes frilly or too cute, but to add a bit of romance."
But it is color, Geller asserts, that gives his collection its voice. "I think that color is one of the most important tools a designer has," he says. "Color is the first element that the eye reacts to, and it can be the trigger for pulling someone into the collection." For Harald's fall collection, this rings true: Blacks, dark grays, and dusty lilacs give way to earthy greens and spots of gold. "I think that the most beautiful color combinations are usually subtle and muted," he says. "Often I will use a deep, deep purple instead of a black, and the difference will only be noticeable upon close inspection."
The clothing touches on protectiveness in both an urban and pastoral sense. Outerwear pieces in leather and corduroy lend themselves to alley walks (note Geller's slouchy anorak crossed with epaulets and gold buttons). Signature tops in soft, washed fabrics like silk charmeuse or cotton voile are held upright by shots of ribbon in purple and gold, yielding a striking effect.
Though Geller got his start in fashion at Marc Jacobs, he isn't aiming to appeal to the same audience. Each piece in Harald's fall collection suggests taking a road less traveled. "I design clothes for women that can find a place in their wardrobes for some of my pieces," Geller says. "I don't want to create something that everyone will kind of like. I want a few to really love it."
Robert Geller, a former partner in the ultra-cool menswear label Cloak, fulfills his ultimate vision for womenswear with Harald Design.