Perusing fashion’s omnipresent color-blocking—a trend that surfaced in the fall/winter collections and which has only strengthened in the resort pieces now in stores and spring clothes due to arrive any minute—one can’t help but notice an effortless association between these architecturally inspired looks and a certain South Beach neighborhood. From bold color combi-nations to design treatments that are often decidedly linear in their graphics (what leaps to mind is the “engineered plaids” crafted by the always architecturally minded Narciso Rodriguez, who for resort was inspired by Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera), do designers have the Art Deco District on their minds?
OK, perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but an argument can certainly be made for the relationship between Art Deco, a 1930s design style largely identified by its symmetry, and the linear treatments that define color-blocking—look to Donna Karan’s sequined minidress from her DKNY resort collection as an ideal example. Throw in a penchant for vibrant color mixes—was Brian Atwood channeling the sorbet tones of Essex House while designing his luscious Ammy peep-toe pump?—and it’s easy to see that South Beach and color-blocking go together, well, like fashion and Art Basel Miami Beach. Indeed, perhaps that increasing cadre of designers doesn’t descend upon Miami each December merely for the parties, the pop-ups, and the patron-watching; if the current crop of color-blocking is any indication, art and commerce are enjoying quite the Deco-driven marriage.