Maiyet – Crafted with Passion – Fashion Article

Fashion Article by Jim Morrall

On doing a little reading around New York fashion designers, Maiyet, one might imagine something more soft and natural about their aesthetic. Connotations of hippies and patchouli can turn off a fashion eye. As can talking about considerate commerce. In fact for this reason, it seems less appealing to talk straight away about Maiyet’s philanthropic motives. We do not want to throw any bias into your reading from the start.

Clothes, jewellery and accessories including the fabulous Maiyet bags. For a brand in its second season this is a very complete collection. The clothes scream that kind of quiet, smug, excellent finishing that you might be more accustomed to seeing from more mature French and Italian houses, rather than from a new top New York fashion designer.

Architecturally positioned pleats, darts and bonded felt seams build precise structure. But is you ignore the technicalities, a languid silhouette dominates the pieces. I’ve never been so excited about slim cropped black pants. With Maiyet, louche and tailored are no longer mutually exclusive. Hovering so expertly between dynamism and accuracy is not what you normally expect from a second show.

Another remarkable thread was their interpretation of the owl trend fluttering around the zeitgeist. At Burberry amongst others, AW12 sees graphic motifs appliquéd very literally. Maiyet talk of snow owls in a much more focused, introspective and poetic way. The closest semiotic reference to the animal was a ditzy block printed chiffon. It was off white, layered and scientifically cut to reference a flighty precision.

Fabrications were uncompromising. We’ve already mentioned the manually block printed silks. Add to that, the glorious pile on cashmere outerwear and a mastery of leather and goat fur. Jewellery played with gold and horn. Shoes showed off aggressive toes and cylindrical heels softened by pony skin. Strict control of sumptuous workmanship might be explained by the German upbringing of Maiyet’s Italian creative director Gabriella Zanzani. A neo-minimalist vision makes stints at Calvin Klein and Celine no surprise.

Talking about mission, Maiyet’s founders are fuelled by the creation of economically viable business models for dying artisan industries. Having discovered Maiyet, I would see that less as part of the socially conscious fashion movement. Instead, it feels like a globally minded progression of the euro-centric cult of the artisan at brands like Hermès and Bottega Venetta. For a new generation of course.

For more on Maiyet click here. Also available at Paris’ Montaigne Market for Autumn Winter 2012.

Fashion Article by Jim Morrall

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