Monday, July 27, 2009

Isabel Toledo : 'Fashion From the Inside Out'

I just recently visited the brilliant retrospective of Cuban-born designer Isabel Toledo at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum in NY. Toledo, a fiercely independent designer of her namesake line as well as one-time creative director for Anne Klein, never expected the onslaught of attention when First Lady Michelle Obama wore Toledo's Lemongrass dress and coat on Inauguration Day. The designer's dresses and creations are unique and brilliant in their 3-dimensional 'sculptural' shapes, manipulated surfaces, and organic geometry. "I never thought of myself as a designer," says Isabel. "I’m a seamstress. I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else. The seamstress is the one who views fashion from the inside! That’s the art form, really..." Toledo also works seamlessly and inseparably with her husband of 25 years, the fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, whose inspirational sketches beautifully illuminated the ceilings of the exhibit. Isabel Toledo's craftsmanship is impeccable and so is her unique beauty and approach to fashion. I'm simply in awe.....

Michelle Obama's Inauguration outfit

Isabel and Ruben Toledo in their Atelier loft

Isabel Toledo by Ruben Toledo

Illustrations by Ruben Toledo

Photos courtesy of The Museum at FIT,,,