KATIE GALLAGHER AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
Designers can find inspiration anywhere, but you’d be hard pressed to name someone else who has used synesthesia as their starting point. Katie Gallagher’s collections always lean toward the conceptual, so it wasn’t a surprise to find the neurological phenomenon in her show notes. (Some synesthetes perceive letters, numbers, sounds, or other things as colors—for example, one might “see” yellow when looking at a specific number.)
“My collections are always about color, so I was thinking about how you might see something as a color rather than the actual object,” Gallagher said. Cherry red popped against all-black ensembles, “like something blurred that’s coming into focus,” as the designer saw it. The concept was mirrored in the silhouettes, too. Billowing flares, bell-shaped coats, and floaty trapeze dresses created soft, ephemeral shapes that were more forgiving than anything Gallagher has ever done. It may not have been her intention, but the clothes were remarkably more wearable for it.
The young designer has played with 3-D printing and see-through bodysuits in the past, and while she does cater to a niche market, it was nice to see her high-concept thinking on clothes that a lot of girls can wear. A pilot jacket with oversize pockets and the aforementioned slipdresses would be instant wardrobe staples. Of course, there was still a touch of weirdness in the form of hoods tied under the chin. It wouldn’t be a Katie Gallagher show without a little witchy element.