After a prolonged period of indoor living and limited travel, the concept of spring renewal takes on a whole new meaning. Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka were inspired by this redefined notion as they embarked on creating their spring collection. Drawing inspiration from the wardrobe crafted by Orry-Kelly for Bette Davis in the 1942 drama "Now, Voyager," the duo aimed to design clothes that would empower women to reenter the world as their best selves.
In the film, butterflies serve as a recurring motif, symbolizing transformation. Mischka explained, "Now, Voyager has an entire scene about butterflies, and then there are the spangled butterflies that adorn Bette Davis's cape. We felt our customer is a bit like a butterfly; she's been cooped up for so long, but now she's ready to emerge from her chrysalis."
To embrace such a transformative journey, an optimistic outlook is essential, and the clothes must evoke that mood. Badgley and Mischka incorporated playful details into their designs, including pastel fringe, sequin paillettes, and prints featuring illustrated flora and fauna. These elements were purposefully chosen, with toucans flying across maxi dresses and pearl beads adding whimsy to workwear blazers. The collection drew inspiration from Davis's character, Charlotte Vale, and her evolution portrayed through portrait collars and ruffles. Necklines became the focal point, with curved and face-framing styles or plunging deep Vs stealing the show.
Observing a shift in their clientele's preferences for social occasions, Badgley Mischka recognized a desire for voluminous silhouettes and comfortable clothing that allows for ease of movement. The urge to make an entrance remained, but it was now accompanied by a need for all-day comfort. Spring's standouts addressed both these needs. Design elements like a lemony pleated gown with a ruffled train exuded a "look at me" appeal while maintaining a relaxed vibe. Notably, the pieces featuring the season's butterfly emblem were designed to gracefully float as the wearer entered the room and spread their wings.
Badgley Mischka's spring collection encapsulates the spirit of rejuvenation and growth as we transition into a new season. The clothes capture the essence of transformation, providing women with the confidence to emerge from their cocoons and embrace the world once more. Through their artistry, Badgley and Mischka have beautifully woven together optimism, playfulness, comfort, and style, creating a collection that celebrates the renewal of spring in all its splendor.