Opening Ceremony Fall/Winter 2014 NYC

By Maya Singer
Legend has it that the name “Antwerp” is derived from the Dutch term hand werpen, meaning “hand-thrown.” There’s a whole story about a giant guarding the river, who would cut off people’s hands. Anyway, this evening’s Opening Ceremony show was an appealingly motley mix of things Belgian and, more specifically, Antwerp-ian, and among these, the mooted etymology of the city’s name played a starring role. The collection’s key print, for instance, was a fingerprint swirl deployed in the most sculpturally ambitious of the men’s and women’s looks.

What really got your attention, though, was the graphic quality of the clothes. Obviously, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim couldn’t vibe on Antwerp without imbibing the city’s fashion history. Raf was a presence here, to be sure, but Lim and Leon mostly seemed interested in translating the linearity and sobriety of the Antwerp look into clothes with that jaunty Opening Ceremony mien. Essentially, they did this by making the clothes very, very graphic. That was elaborated in the women’s clothes by employing a lot of asymmetry; the men’s looks featured trompe l’oeil layering and zips that worked to adjust proportion and volume. Overall, this men’s collection articulated a stronger point of view than the womenswear—there was a clear silhouette proposition and a good number of very strong pieces, such as quilted anoraks. The women’s range didn’t cohere as well, not least because the emphasis on asymmetry produced too many looks that just came off looking messy. Taken together, though, these collections did affirm that Lim and Leon’s ambitions as designers continue to advance.


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