NYFW: ANGEL SANCHEZ S/S 2015

As one of the judges on Project Runway, Latin America, Angel Sanchez sometimes says things that open him up to a lot of criticism in his own line. Critics were, in fact, hot and heavy in their treatment on Twitter this morning, voicing their disapproval rather vociferously through the social media outlet. Since I’ve never watched Project Runway, Latin America (I don’t DO psuedo-reality TV. I’ve not watched the American version, either), I don’t hold Angel’s clothes against his words on a show designed simply to garner ratings. So, putting all that criticism aside, let me be totally honest: this is a fantastic collection of clothes that require a very special woman to wear them.

There is a lot here in Angel’s line that is super exciting. I’m still looking for the exact names of some of these fabrics. They are so new, so very different, that I’m not finding mention of them anywhere. Let’s start with what appears, at least visually, to be a very tight form of chain mail. I’m sure it’s not chain mail, for it lies too softly against the skin and is moldable at a level chain mail would never be. Yet, as Angel uses it especially in accenting touches, it comes off spectacularly. Then, there is a more rigid, heavier fabric that really lends itself well to Angel’s trademark architectural looks. He does some absolutely incredible things with folds and layers on these pieces, creating shapes and designs that are mind boggling and beautiful. One bright pink number appeared  to be held together by a giant yellow clip of unique architectural design.

Working from a color palette that relies on white as its background, Sanchez works primarily with a robin’s egg blue, bright pink, and a soft yellow. Greys and white color the accent points so that the primary colors pop and shine.

Silhouettes are, for the most part, rather minimalist and a few even come off as boxy, though I mean that in the best way possible. There are some exceptions, especially early in the collection, but the architectural nature lends itself best to the straight-lined silhouettes. One interesting modification Angel makes on the midriff cutout is to elongate it, turning it into a narrow slot that ends just below the navel. Another strong point is the way he layers mesh to reduce opacity.

If there’s a weakness here it is that Angel’s clothes are so very structured that it takes a woman with a strong personality to wear them well. More than a matter of body type, one needs to be able to stand tall, walk well in heels, and exhibit an attitude that is every bit as strong as the clothes on one’s back. This is not a line for wall flowers or those with droopy shoulders. Confident women are going to do very well in these clothes, but those of weaker personalities will likely wither.

One interesting little detail before I finish. On two pieces, Sanchez actually builds the purse into the garment. We’re not talking about a pocket, mind you; these are pouches, designed every bit like a purse, sewn into the high hem of a dress and at the waist band of a pair of slacks. It will be interesting to see if that little detail catches on with women.

Angel Sanchez may leave himself open to criticism on television, but when it comes to real-world style and design what he exhibited today was nothing short of genius. That has to be worth a few Nielsen ratings points.

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