NYFW SS19

Art Hearts Fashion

Black Tape Project   Candice Cuoco
Verve Fashion

           Joel Alvarez is the creator behind the Black Tape Project. This isn’t fashion as much as performance art. In 2008, he put electrical tape on a nude model. He discovered that tape hugs the body closer than any possible material that a model could wear. Working with models with great bodies, he creates patterns and illusory shapes that mimic swimwear while giving complete freedom of movement.    Alvarez only presents his shaping on one model in front of his audience, but it takes time and care to anticipate a form and as he finishes, other models show work that he’s finished.    Using adhesive tape pieces cut in simple triangle or diamond shapes in reflective bronze, gold, silver or black, the bodies are able to move dynamically. Much of Alvarez’s work is done in opulent club atmospheres in party locations around the world. But in a fashion context, it is fascinating to envision the flexibility of Black Tape.

– Phillip Wong –

             Candice Cuoco has an incredible eye for costume, design, and epic presentation. With models who understand the drama of her work, she works with fabrics that have texture, weight, transparency, and pushes the edges of compatibility to fit form that creates sexiness, flair that provides drama, and silhouette that distinguishes the elegance in so much of her work.

   This line simply uses lighter colors than her Autumn-Winter 2018 collection to tip a hat to a spring season.    In the work I’ve seen, I admire her using lace, metal clasps and sewn edges that explore clothing through historical contexts. Watching a Candice Cuoco presentation is seeing clothing as it was, as it is, and as it could be. Leather panels laced together work as medieval armor, flowing mermaid dresses with thigh high slits are reminders of a time of elegance and care.    She worries about construction and fit, and in her preparations, you can see dozens and hundreds of an item laid out for assembly on a patient model.    There are those who believe that women’s fashion diverted too far from wearability to the ridiculous, but we can also see that lack of imagination, drama and excitement sucked the soul out of fashion as we know it today.    Candice Cuoco reminds us drives us much further than the slip dress that only carries us to tomorrow.

– Phillip Wong –