The Most Interactive New York Fashion Week Show Ever Comes From a Tech Phobic Designer

Like It or Love It, Badgley Mischka is Here to Stay

BY // 02.19.18

New York — Mark Badgley and James Mischka admit they aren’t tech whizzes. Badgley even confesses that he doesn’t understand Instagram. “I’m hopeless,” he says. “I don’t even fax.”

But the duo embraced the high tech world at their New York Fashion Week show.

They partnered with SAP to produce an interactive app that allows users to view each look in the Badgley Mischka fall ’18 collection and pick their favorite. During the show, members of the audience as well as a global crowd online chose their most admired styles by clicking  “like” or “love” (with points more heavily weighted to those looks that were loved) and a Top 10 list developed, which the duo will share with retailers. (Users of the app can continue to pick their favorites with a heart or a thumbs up signal.)

Even among millennials, a glamorous “old school” strapless red brocade ball gown with a big skirt, ranks at the top of the list.

While the duo look to the future with technology, they examined the past for inspiration, scanning paintings of the 16th century Italian artist Caravaggio and his use of “chiaroscuro,” contrasting light and darkness in dramatic three-dimensional ways.

“It’s the idea of light bursting through the darkness, which is Caravaggio incarnate,” Mischka says.

The influence shows up in the richness of the colors, sumptuous fabrics, and textures of the evening wear pieces — always a Badgley Mischka speciality — with dramatic embroidered lace overlays, swaths of tulle covered in silk petals, and head-to-toe crystal embellishments. Even the daywear takes on a shiny aura, with a coat and pencil skirt in a black-and-white sequined wool plaid.

But one of the less embellished looks — a white crepe gown with a big silver bow at the bodice — makes perhaps the most powerful fashion statement in the entire collection. Sometimes simplicity is best.

In Houston, the Badgley Mischka collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.

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