In 2007 Victoria Bartlett's innovative and edgy lingerie and sportswear line, VPL (Visible Panty Line) was a top ten finalist for a CFDA award. Bartlett continues to inspire and influence with her expert approach to layering and, of course, her encouragement to rethink the concept of what constitutes "outerwear."
It seems like there's a lot of skeletal references. Is that an influence?
VB: Yes it is. It was very much about the body. This piece (ed note: a woven suit that resembles a ribcage) is like a vertebrae. I guess, I really should have been a doctor. Actually one of the prints is an xray of my head. It was taken after a car accident and I loved it. We reversed it and played with it so you'll never know that's what it is but I kind of like to add elements that are very personal and introduce them, and no one even knows!
So it feels like this season there's a big shift in designer presentations; smaller lines starting to stage runway shows, while larger brands are scaling back. Have you shifted elements of your production this season?
VB: I mean, I think it is different on some level. People are much more willing to work together. People have actually been really generous with their time and collaborations. And I love collaborations and working with groups of people so for me it's great. Everyone who has worked on this production is amazing.
I mean right here, backstage, we've got Japanese food, we have facials...you, know it's nice to offer that in a time that's tough.
Anyone you'd like to collaborate with that you haven't yet?
VB: Well there's always people I'd love to work with. I just started a collaboration with a woman called Orly Genger that I'm really excited about. She did the installation out front (ed note: a giant block of black ropes in the middle of the runway) and she also did all the rope jewelry. I also worked with Jaclyn Mayer and Lizzie Fortunato on jewelry.
Yes, we've been eyeing all those necklaces with bone charms- incredible!
VB: I know!