Like his peers Patrice Ramos-Diaz and James Reyes, Jojie Lloren was deeply affected by the natural catastrophe that devastated Japan earlier this year. While Patrice responded by "upcycling" fabric scraps to promote green fashion and environmental responsibility, and James by drawing inspiration from the resilience and quiet strength of the Japanese, Jojie contemplated the preeminent power of Mother Nature to bring us harm and destruction when we take her, far too much, for granted.
The Holiday 2011 collection Jojie presented in Fashion Watch is his meditation on The Rage of Gaia, where the cataclysms the Japanese suffered—and their resurging hope thereafter—are represented in "visible disruptions on the fabric."
Silhouettes that are almost severe in their simplicity are disturbed by whorls and cavernous dips that give textile allusions to the calamities. Shoulders and busts are given volume and texture through these "vortices," while backs enjoy visual interest through deep indents achieved through meticulous patterning.
Most of these "disruptions" are placed behind the deceptively simple façade of Jojie's immaculately tailored pieces, hinting at the deceptive calm of the open seas breeding a tsunami, whose roiling depths confront only when it's in proximity. And that is precisely how the show started, with these ominous pieces that soon gave way to still more seemingly simple dresses that boast in their forms cresting waves, slithering surf, and bursts of froth and foam.
Done in contrasting colors of white and silvery blue, these "tides" and "seafoam" offer an almost effervescent contrast to Jojie's trench-dark tailored canvases of knee-length dresses, and hip- and thigh-hugging skirts. The long-sleeved blouses in most looks are finished just an inch or so short of the wrist to hint that there is, in fact, more to come. But not all darkness and illusory blue crush, this time.
Lightening to a white and slate gray floor-length skirt and tailored shirt combination, Jojie hints at a buoyant, yet no less dramatic finish. But just before he caps off his ode to a scolding Gaia on an optimistic tone, he lets loose a final piece that is imposing in its stark majesticity. The high-necked, scoop-backed black gown seems to remind and reprimand, just before the collection reaches its denouement in a teal, black, gray, and white number that is all fluidity, all streaming renewal and turquoise hope.
Click on the photo gallery to view Jojie Lloren's Holiday 2011 collection, The Rage of Gaia.