RUGWAY FASHION

These are copies of my blogs for Lush Magazine from LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris March and April 2011.

They can also be viewed on the Lush website under ‘blogs’ at www.Lushmag.com

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

All afternoon you could hear people all around Heritage Court looking over the day’s schedule and saying, “What’s this Korhani Home Rug runway show at 6 p.m.? Are you going to that? Is it just rugs? What is it?”

No one seemed to know what to make of this curious addition to the LG Fashion Week fall runway schedule. Sandwiched between Chloe comme Parris and the uber-popular Pink Tartan show was this peculiar, what, we’ll call, “rugway” show.

So what should you expect, in terms of a fashion show, from a retailer of luxury home decor? The answer turned out to be a little bit of everything.

“This is a conceptual show,” says Moji Korhani. “We’re using the patterns and fabrics from the carpets, and it’s a representation
of what we feel, home fashion is surprisingly underestimated, and often the way we feel and dress is the way we style our home.”

It was very interesting to watch how the show, um, unrolled. The first models came out as a pair and strutted down the runway in short, flouncing tulle skirts with a plastic dress overtop that was painted with a corset. They were followed by a troupe of models in blue or coral bodysuits which were covered in psychedelic prints. And as they strutted down the runway, the big screen behind them displayed a slide show of similar patterns. They were then followed by two, burly, nearly nude male models (and by that I mean wearing nothing but a thong) painted head-to-toe in Korhani rug patterns.

Then we finally started to see the rugs.

Translated into a fantastical interpretation of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, particularly Little Red Riding Hood, rugs with
nordic-like illustrations were given hoods and wrapped around models’ shoulders to become thick riding cloaks.And as the hooded models skipped down the runway, they were wolfishly followed by male models draped in dark fur rugs.

“It was something I just got in my head somehow and I had to implement it,” says creative director Kirsten Korhani. “It wasn’t
in my theme from the beginning, but something brought it out and then I saw that the [Red Riding Hood] movie was coming out and I said, ’I have to do this.’”

The last theme was the most impressive, in terms of fashion, and resembled a scene from the TV show Mad Men. Rugs patterned with elegant Audrey Hepburn-esque silhouettes were transformed into structured A-line skirts and paired with fur-vested tops. Some of the models even carried elegant boxy suitcases which actually turned out to be the packaging for Korhani rugs.

“We want to bring the focus away from traditional carpets. We’re showing that there are many different styles and patterns of carpets, like fur and silk, and not just wool,” says Moji. “It’s also a chance to show the packaging. When you buy a rug it doesn’t have to be this big heavy thing you carry out of the store. Now you can have nice packaging, like a beautiful box.”

The grand finale was a dazzling look from an On the Rocks meets Dolce Vita theme, where the model emerged in an extravagant rug and fur get-up, adorned with dazzling diamonds while carrying a tiny pink poodle and walking a larger one (who was also wearing a diamond-encrusted collar) down the runway.

Despite initial skepticism, the show was certainly entertaining and unquestionably answered the query of how exactly one would translate rugs into fashion. Not to mention doing an excellent job at it.

The Korhanis have a three-year partnership with LG Fashion Week and are looking forward to their next “rugway” collection in the fall.

“I’m excited for the next season in October,” says Moji. “There will be lots of new surprises, but I can’t tell you more. I don’t want to give anything away.”

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