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A New Focus at CG

Up-and-comer Chris Gelinas is turning his attention to cocktail dresses and evening gowns, but his formal frocks could use a greater sense of ease.
CG Autumn/Winter 2017 | Source: InDigital.tv
By
  • Lauren Sherman

NEW YORK, United States — This season, Chris Gelinas began moonlighting as the creative director of Becken, a new brand with roots in horse racing. At Becken, his world revolves around the riding jacket: it's sporty, outdoorsy and a big departure from his more romantic inclinations. In turn, his own collection has become more focused, with an emphasis on cocktail and evening wear. Gelinas has an eye for fabric, and this season he wanted to create a sense of something "explosive, a sensory overload" by double processing some of the materials.

A floral brocade, for instance, was cut into a thick fringe on the skirt of a short empire-waisted frock. Another fringing technique — fils coupe — was used on a series of all-black looks, including an elegant mid-calf dress that followed the lines of a tuxedo.

Gelinas’ skill is quite fine; what he needs to improve is hanger appeal. Sometimes his concept of formalwear is a little too rigid, and that’s reflected in the end results. A lurex wool sweatshirt with a single diagonal stripe slicing across its front may have been the most casual item he presented this season. But it was jazzy and modern, as was that tuxedo dress. Regardless of what time of day he’s designing for, he needs to bring that sort of relaxed energy to the rack.

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