Behind The Scenes | NYFW: Isabel Dupré Styled Rafael Cennamo SS13
In preparation for the Rafael Cennamo SS13 Presentation for New York Fashion Week, stylist Isabel Dupré invited me to the showroom for the final fitting. One by one, the dresses were matched to models who stood in front of the white backdrop while Isabel and her assistants paired shoes, belts, and nail colors. This season, the inspiration was Japan.
A few months prior, the team worked on selecting the right images for the mood board ranging from photos of cherry blossom trees to old kimonos. Then they worked on incorporating Rafael’s drawings and finding fabrics. When the first few dresses arrived, they discussed shapes and lengths until they had a better idea about how the finished collection would look. They then collaborated with Jean Michel Cazabat on the shoes, with Rafael designing and both Isabel and Rafael agreeing on the mint green color. After multiple fittings and corrections, they both finally achieved what they wanted. Jewelry from Bochic and Miriam Salat were added. Finally, the team worked on the set, the casting, and the music.
When designing for a show, Isabel chooses not to bring her personal style. Instead, she focuses on guiding the designer to develop his style and vision. When it comes to accessories specifically, “I have a bigger voice,” says Isabel. “I bring pieces that I like and that will push the looks in the right direction, and always, I make sure we have good shoes”.
When choosing nail colors for this season, they held up multiple hues and chose the best match. “What about the gowns with various colors”? I asked, pointing to the gown swirling with colors like turquoise, lavender and silver. For those, they go with the accent color that greatly enhances the garment. In this case, they matched it with a bright turquoise nail polish.
As for the presentation, Isabel thought that it was beautiful (I agree!) and she was very happy with how the casting, hair and makeup worked out. Unbeknownst to all, since it seemed to be executed seamlessly, due to the rain the set was almost not completed on time! However, the set design team made it work with their incredible resourcefulness.
My favorite touch were the delicate lace ankle socks a few of the models wore. Paired with the shoes, the look evoked the traditional Japanese pairing of “geta” (traditional shoes) and “tabi” (traditional ankle socks). The kimono influence is apparent especially when examining the silhouette, which was completed with a high-waisted “obi”-like belt.
For Isabel, Fashion Week is is like a “high school reunion,” when she gets to “say hi to friends that [she doesn't] have time to see during the rest of the year”. Her favorite part is finding new inspirations, having new samples to work with, and spotting Bill Cunningham on his bicycle every season. Her least favorite parts are the late fittings, and sprinting between shows in traffic or in the crowded subways.
Isabel’s personal survival kit for Fashion Week entails a bottle of water, a metrocard, a pair of heels that she can run in, her iPhone, and of course, a smile.