Although the press release for London-based designer Maria Grachvogel’s Spring/Summer 2013 womenswear collection claimed that it would offer “the futuristic simplicity of a clean silhouette transformed by the infusion of details and prints evoking a cosmic, ethereal beauty”, the garments displayed to the journalists and buyers who gathered to see the show in London on 14 September 2012 revealed a rather different, yet equally optimistic and wondrous, narrative. These were clothes most definitely anchored in effective reinterpretations of past and current sartorial lines that, while not owing much to future visions of fashion realms, deserved to be praised for being effective displays of accomplished creativity.
Evening dresses, tunics, jumpsuits, raincoats, cropped trousers, and sleeve scarves incorporated elegant draping techniques that evolved into pleats, twists and folds over the neckline and waist, which contrasted with rigid and yet elegant sartorial tropes such as tailored wide leg trousers or fabric panelling. Fabrics of a sheer nature (namely organza, polyurethane-covered chiffon, silk, satin, and light cottons) featured prominently, and came in stylish colour-blocking combinations of black and white, abstract prints inspired by natural textures and luminosity, or in a seductive palette that comprised slate grey, white, opal blue, sunlight yellow, opal pink, and shades of green and red. In addition, Grachvogel incorporated swimwear into her collection for the first time.
Maria Grachvogel established her company in 1994 and showed for the first time at London Fashion Week in 1995. She opened her flagship store on London’s prestigious Sloane Street in Autumn 2001 and launched her global e-tail store in February 2010, the same month that witnessed her return to the London catwalk after having shown in New York. Over the last couple of years, Grachvogel has focussed on opening five flagship stores worldwide. The first of these, a 1430 sq ft stand alone store, opened in March 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan, whereas a Singapore store opened in October 2011. The launch event of the new London flagship store (now at 18 Culford Gardens) was announced in September 2011. In addition, Grachvogel’s designs can be found in stockists in Ireland, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, UAE, UK, and the USA.