Currently it seems the majority of designers endeavor to 'cover their bases' with collections that have a wide appeal to a variety of women regardless of their age, shape, or personal point of view. And while this egalitarian motivation has definite value, the largest of which is making the brand a viable business by appealing to the mass market, it does come with a drawback; blunted creativity. For Spring 2012, designer Leana Zuniga of Electric Feathers, proved she is at no risk of suffering blunted creativity due to trying to appeal to the mass market. Her appeal is very specific to the young, thin, wealthy girl who has a deep nostalgic love for the glory days of Studio 54.
Clearly not intended to 'look good on everyone' (bandeau tops, and shiny harem pants seldom do) the collection had a real energy to it, that was fun, free-spirited and 100% creatively driven.
Of course this kind of brash creativity is not always met with adoration from the media. Undoubtedly there will be some who fault Zuniga for her ultra-specific point of view, and others who may resent the implied 'I don't care if it doesn't work for everyone' attitude in which they were created.
But, walking around the presentation, taking in the looks in all their disco-revival glory, the realization came to me that not only is there definitely a market for these pieces among the New York set, but Zuniga's bravery is greatly needed in the industry. American fashion needs mavericks who inject ideas, even if they don't appeal to a wide audience, into the market place so that self expression can exist. Without the Zunigas (and the Jen Kaos, and the Sally LaPointes) of the world we'd all be living a bland, Banana-Republic-a-fied existence where button-downs and pencil skirts are the only option.
For more information on Electric Feathers visit the label's official web home.