Kate Beckinsale, Misty Copeland, Sherry Cola, “Wednesday” actress Joy Sunday and more came out to support Bach Mai’s first runway show on Wednesday at New York Fashion Week, a testament to the success the Houston-born designer and couture lover since he was a child has had with red carpet dressing.
But that wasn’t his main objective with his spring 2024 collection, “Atlas Crossing the River Styx.”
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“I didn’t expect to do a runway show so soon but my father passed away and he was my biggest fan and I felt like I needed to honor him and how much he supported me,” the designer said backstage, fighting back tears. “I wanted to treat it as guiding him to the next life, so a lot of it is about memorialization of gesture, so you see garments frozen, a jacket as if the hands are in the pockets but they are not, or you scrunched up a skirt to get out of a car, or Cinderella is running down the steps…the clothes have been frozen as an artifact of humanity.”
Also in honor of where he came from, Mai showed a gorgeous black and lace embroidered version of the ao dai, the Vietnamese national dress, actually a silk tunic and pants. A lovely red sleeveless shirred shift dress cinched into a black ribbon at the chest was a darkly romantic piece, as was a blush tulle, off-the-shoulder corset gown that had real red carpet appeal.
Paying homage to his working class roots (his father worked most of his life in a refinery), Mai used lot of utility inspiration and details on feminine urban wardrobing pieces, like a black polyurethane-coated vest and pleated skirt set, white cargo pants worn with a flowing floral tunic, and a silk cotton blurred floral jumper with overall shoulder straps.
“We wanted to show we’re not just an eveningwear brand,” he said.
Launch Gallery: Bach Mai RTW Spring 2024
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