MARA HOFFMAN AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR
One click through Mara Hoffman’s brightly colored collections might lead you to believe she was based in L.A. or Hawaii, but the born-and-bred New Yorker makes a convincing case for a vibrant winter look. For Fall, she strayed a bit from her signature digital prints. Her key reference was Charles Fréger’s book Wilder Mann, in which the photographer traveled to 18 European countries to capture the rituals of men dressing in full animal skins. “It’s about this connection to earth and animal,” Hoffman explained. The designer has become synonymous with that kind of bohemian, free-spirited oeuvre, so her next source of inspiration was a little more unexpected: Star Wars. “When I was putting the palette together with all of these creams, whites, and camels, I thought, This is completely Luke Skywalker,” she said with a laugh. “I fell in love with the landscapes on his planet, Tatooine, and I wanted to modernize and feminize the 1977 film.”
Hoffman is a flower child at heart, so don’t expect R2D2 metallics or futuristic space suits. Instead, she played with textures like quilted cotton, dense embroidery, and GOLD beading to add just a hint of sci-fi by way of the late ’70s. A new fabrication for her was tufted chiffon, which appeared on a few rainbow-striped pieces that looked like sheared fur from afar. Their swirling patterns created a “textural landscape,” as Hoffman put it. She also experimented with layering, which would probably shock her swimwear devotees. “We’re known so much for our prints and swim, so Fall is really our time to stand up and show our diversity,” she said.
One of the first looks out was a wool coat layered over a jumpsuit layered over a turtleneck—with a pile of braids atop the model’s head for good measure. Hoffman also proposed wearing thin turtlenecks under summer-ready slipdresses. It was a cute proposition, but the jumpsuits were undoubtedly Hoffman’s best pieces, especially the ones that were belted tightly at the waist with a few ropes of leather. In the future, she should expand upon those minimal-yet-artsy looks: A fluffy fringed coat was effortlessly chic.