As we dabble through our daily lives this Fall Equinox, it is without a doubt that the arrival of night noticeably comes earlier, while the arrival of day noticeably comes later. And to mark this seasonal phenomenon, Cassie Ridgway has blessed us yet again with her latest lookbook designs, Somniferum, the opium poppy, both dream and sleep inducing. Thankful for local photographer Beth Olson, make-up artist Mary Alexandra, and our two beautiful models, Sarah Schroeder Conde and Nicole Lynch, the team has given fruition to this style exposé.
Upon first glance, it is without a doubt these pieces entertain the velvet trend so popularly expressed during Paris Fashion Week this year. What makes this collection different from mainstream fall designs however, is Cassie's use of devoré, or velvet burnout. Not only does this fabric technique give a very modern 21st century renaissance woman appeal, but perfectly parallels the juxtaposition of night and day during Autumn.
Undoubtedly, vegetation and florals inspire these pieces. But if you look at the designs with a closer lens, they start to resemble plant structures. Tops subtly hint linear patterns to that of plant stems, or even the cell wall of eukaryotic plant cells themselves. A shirt, that is entirely composed of different shades of periwinkle blue chiffon flower petals, give a light frothy texture and wispy character. And a middle crop box top colored with zaffre, Persian blue and streaks of black, is comparable to the changing movement of water, central to plant life.
What I love so much about these pieces is, despite the use of color, the Altar Houseline still succeeds in conveying the complex aesthetic of dark bohemia. The apparel expresses to me, a sort of "moody flower;" be-draped in silk, dusted with chiffon, touched with modal and spiced with velvet burnout as the wearer sways in her personal space, dances to the beat of her own drum, and listens to something like classic rock.