Emerging designer Grace Ling made her New York Fashion Week debut with a darkly sexy impact.
The designer, a new interim member of the CFDA and Net-a-Porter Vanguard Alum, launched her namesake label in 2020 after cutting her teeth at Thom Brown and The Row. Since then she’s become known for her artful, architectural designs that exude sinister sensuality. For spring, the Singapore-born, New York-based designer debuted a minimalist- and surrealist-minded 30-look collection that expanded on these ideas.
“The key silhouettes are something that’s sexy yet very sophisticated. I like to use black and a lot of themes, but interpret them with lighthearted humor, so they aren’t too scary. This balance of darkness – I was thinking spring/summer, but twisted and harder,” Ling said backstage, evidenced through her signature butt-shaped silver minaudiere, a molded silver breastplate top, or “evil crow” and hangman chainmail handbags.
Like the minaudiere, Ling’s clothing homed in on the “study of the relationship between human anatomy and objects,” show notes read. The result looked great in the form of pierced and floral metal sculptures that served as garment buttons, closures and clasps, like a “dagger” collarbone on a plunging black gown. Many looks had high slits, low backs and transparencies (although there was also a nice selection of sharp, exaggerated tailoring), best seen through her series of “evanescence” knits – a selection of nylon and viscose ombre dresses that seductively revealed and concealed the body just-so. A highlight of the lot was an asymmetrical dress with ombre hem that looked as if it had been burned, in a beautiful way.