Where would be a good start to describe the Threeasfour Spring 2014 offering...???? Inspired. That's Good for it Certainly Was. Brilliant. That too, In it's own way, not everything was Brilliant but most of it, Yes. Quite Brilliant. Transcendant... Maybe they were reaching for that but it's a little hard to say if they achieved that lofty peak. In with the Inspired and Brilliant and at times, Yes, Transcendental... there were things that boggled the imagination and caused one to give a rather thorough scratching of the head. The team of Gabriel Asfour, Adi Gil and Angela Donhauser are somewhat like a Think Tank/Andy Warhol Factory Bunch of Artists wanting to design fashion and Vice-Versa. Their artistic inclinations sometimes get in the way of a good thing and Stirs up a lot of sediment into some otherwise pristine waters.
They have the Experimental/Shocking/Breathtaking Acumen and Showmanship of a McQueen or a Young Berardi Or Chalayan but seen far more sharply through the Focused Lens of an Artist. That can be a detriment sometimes when designing clothes and really... no one is going to say they have been Commercial Successes but they have kept themselves in Business and The fashion world is the better.
I look at this collection with the same eye that I viewed the Thom Browne Collection Earlier... Threeasfour isn't concerned with the Social Strata or the Everyday Red Carpet Starlet... they have convictions that run deeper than that facile aspiration. It shows in this collection in which they concerned themselves with only White and Then Black and Innovated how Clothes are in relation to the Human Form.
Does that sound like a whole lot of Pretentiousness... It can come off that way, but the earnestness that courses through this collection is not only Admirable, It's Exhilarating! Going into detail on this collection, as slender as it was in number of outfits... would require a Thesaurus and Pages upon Pages of Text... Suffice it to say... there was something decidedly Lee Alex About this collection, Even a little Sarah Burton. Mainly it was the Sinuous, Body Molded Shapes of much of the collection that called to mind Sir Alex of McQueen... The Armor like Paneling... It wasn't Nearly as Flawless as Alexander's Work was or even Thom Browne's Surgically Precise Concoctions... but it needn't be...
There was so much context in these clothes that they spoke volumes without having to be the most Scrupulous in their Construction! They Showed in a room at the Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side and as much as there was an Armor Like bent to the clothes there was something also Benignly Religious As well... Insets or overlays that looked like Angel's Wings... Bishop like volumes in sleeves... Islamic Tile motifs in the Scribbly Guipure Lace and Raised Embroideries on the fabrics... SO MUCH was going on at once and combined with the artful trickiness of much of the collection, there would have been, one would have thought, Stimulus Overload, but there wasn't.
In Fact, It was a Subversive, Yet Strangely Uplifting Collection. One that felt as if it were pulling all the strings of Faith and Devotion from all over the land and tying those strings together into one knot and in that conceit unifying all... Dangerously Overthought as that may be... The impression never the less was left that that was the Goal. Can Fashion actually Achieve such a thing... Well as they say in all Religions...If You Believe, Perhaps so!