by Ami Kealoha
Since Los Angeles' Fashion Week debuted a few years back, an emerging coterie of innovative young designers has given the megalopolis a chance to break its Juicy Couture stigma. The fashion world is taking note of such promising newcomers as L.A. native Sarah Aaronson, the 24-year-old designer of Edith Palm, a label known for dramatic flair and vintage-influenced detailing that Gen Art chose as one of its three "New Garde" for 2005.
Theatrical silhouettes and a tension between buttoned-down restraint and drop-dead sex appeal define Aaronson's Spring/Summer 2006 collection, which substitutes the unique patterns seen in her previous seasons with a predominantly black palette. As a result, daring experiments in volume make for a defiant but alluring look: Aaronson's silk noil jumper, with a central panel that wraps through the legs like an Indian lunghi, is balanced by a gathered scoop-neck halter; a bronze-and-black vintage floral taffeta dress is lined with bold blue silk, and its high-necked ruffle collar is offset by wide, revealing slash arm holes from shoulder to waist.
The sculptural effects and cutaways clearly echo Balenciaga, which Aaronson cites as an influence alongside 1980s Japanese fashion and postmodern visual culture theorist Guy Debord. "I was really experimenting with shape existing without the help of the body, through the use of drawstrings and piping," Aaronson explains. She says her current line is also about "necessary functions and unnecessary functions—for example, extra large pockets with more lining than actual storage space, extra long fly zippers on tops, or misplaced button plackets." We hope this young designer's intellectual, gutsy approach heralds a brave new L.A.
Budding L.A. designer Sarah Aaronson plays with edgy glamour and a bit of coyness to yield her own ambitious artwear in the line, Edith Palm.