You know when something you already love keeps getting better? Well, that’s exactly what happened in my world with the debut of gr.dano’s Fall 2008 collection. Designers Jill and Brian have a way of turning out pieces that I like to think would be fashionable undercover agents on daring international espionage quests if said pieces one day inexplicably morphed from fabric silhouettes into human flesh.
And here’s what I mean by that: each piece in their current collection, which is actually the sum of two smaller collections called Treehorn and Willowdale, could blend into any situation, in any cosmopolitan locale at any time of day. Office? Sure. Gallery opening, hell yes. A cocktail-tinged meeting with the unsuspecting object of the current secret mission? But of course.
But most clothing that can hop the globe in a moment’s notice and blend in gracefully when the situation demands it is horribly bland, utterly bo-rang. Not so with gr.dano. What looks like a classic tailored shirt wows with its chin-skimming collar. Fabric folds play gently across the back of a little black dress. A basic turtle neck finds its sultry, sophisticated side in the criss-cross pattern of fabric draped elegantly across the chest.
I could go on. And on. Trust me. But really, the point here is the clothes. They’re coming. I promise. But first, a word from Brian and Jill, who wrote the following when I recently asked them about the inspiration for their current collection:
The entire Collection was inspired by the illustrations of Edward Gorey. His books have a somber, nonchalant mood. He uses textures to create interest, which is what we did with the collection.
The Treehorn Collection is more sculptural, draped and dramatic. There is texture and interest without the use of prints or dramatic color.
The Willowdale Collection has a more classic, structured feel. Many of Edward Goreyâ€˜s characters have a quiet intensity, which is how we wanted this collection to look. The overall look is polished and sophisticated, but the details show expert tailoring and finishing.
Who does not love Edward Gorey? As an impressionable youth, I was absolutely dorked-out obsessed with John Bellairs books (illustrated by Gorey). The Curse of the Blue Figurine? Hello! Is anyone feeling me on this one?
Back to the collections at hand. Without further ado, some of my favorite looks from Willowdale and Treehorn: