Hanley Mellon: A Stylish Trip to Antwerp!

Catwalk — By on March 16, 2015 at 9:32 am

Seascape – especially ports – has been a major reference for artists and now it’s the designers’ turn to translate it into something wearable and at the same time aspirational. As Diana Vreeland one put it: “the eye has to travel”! The Fall-Winter 2015 Hanley Mellon collection, which debuted at the brand’s second presentation during New York Fashion Week, is right in the same spirit, exploring the theme of journeys, both physical and intellectual. The designs, meant to be mixed and matched to comprise a complete wardrobe, expand on the sportswear brand’s core values: a sense of ease, balance of proportion, texture and color and attention to detail.

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Featuring Antwerp as this season’s profiled location, co-founders Nicole Hanley Mellon and Matthew Mellon travelled to the city known for its historical significance as a gateway between Europe and the New World, facilitating the migration of culture, people, ideas- and fashion.

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“Fall 2015 is inspired by our time in Antwerp. We were initially drawn to Antwerp because of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and wanted to explore how and why it is producing such talent.  We started with the premise: What is happening in Antwerp? Unbeknownst to us, it was the perfect follow up to our Spring 2015 Kenya Collection,” said Co-Founder and Creative Director Nicole Hanley Mellon.

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Beginning with a visit to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Hanley Mellon investigated the creative origin of the ‘Antwerp Six,’ the innovative group of designers who are well known for introducing the concept of deconstruction into the modern fashion lexicon. They also toured the Red Star Line Museum, which traces the migration of people since the beginning of humanity, starting from the discovery of some of the earliest human remains in Kenya, continuing into Europe and through Antwerp to New York via the Red Line Shipping company in the 1800s.

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“Like Antwerp’s fashion students, who were taught the confidence to stay true to their ideas season after season despite the current conversation in fashion, we approached our second collection with this resolve. We wanted to migrate our ideas forward, infused with the new references based on our own journeys and experiences. It is this confidence, the courage to follow one’s own path, that we see reflected in the American Spirit and the Hanley Mellon woman on the go,” Nicole added.

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With the idea that any of the designs can live on their own or be combined with other garments to create a full seasonal wardrobe, Hanley Mellon’s Fall-Winter 2015 collection focuses on luxurious separates. A sense of ease is expressed through the versatility of the pieces. Layering is applied within single garments, such as a jacket with an attached scarf, and lightweight coat-dresses are fully reversible and can be worn over other garments or by themselves as a dress. The concept of pajama dressing, applied to separates and a dress, modernized and elevated with the use of custom developed herringbone-print silks. Wide leg pants and tank dresses were created with ‘tulip’ hems, creating flattering lines allow for movement.

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An elegant color palette of mustard, cabernet, emerald, toast and blue moon is applied to soft, cashmere knits and fabrics such as silk charmeuse, ponte, crepe and chiffon. Hanley Mellon collaborated with artist Yves Ysbrant to create two key prints based on his paintings. Faux fur, leather piping and metallic fabrics are used as accents, adding additional interest. The collection will be available at select retailers and on HanleyMellon.com beginning in August 2015.

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Hanley Mellon is a lifestyle sportswear brand launched in September 2014 that embodies the style and sensibilities of husband-and-wife cofounders and creative team Nicole Hanley Mellon and Matthew Mellon.

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Each collection is a snapshot of a different destination. Collaborations with local artisans are the source of unique designs that echo the traditions of each place and are featured, season to season, as periodic exclusives. Their trademark, with the latitude-longitude coordinates of New York City – the Mellons’ hometown – is also a nod to the sentiment of travel and return. I love this idea of a cosmopolitan creature appreciating and absorbing different cultures!

Get ready for vacations, fashionistas!

Elena Sendona

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