Tia Cibani Spring 2013 Runway Show

In middle school, I would wake up extra early during fashion week, hop on the computer, and watch videos and live streams of all the new collections being shown on the runways. I never missed a Ports 1961 show. The clothes always blew me away. Even though my style was more edgy, the soft/dreamy collections really touched me. The collections presented were always feminine and completely wearable. Watching those looks glide down the runway was a dream.
I could barely contain my excitement when an invite to Tia Cibani’s debut fashion show (Cibani was the creative director of Ports 1961 from 2004 to 2010) landed in my inbox! I was so excited to see the work of a designer that I loved so dearly, and looked forward to seeing what she could do with line of her own.

The show venue was dark, with only the runway illuminated. I hummed along to the expertly crafted playlist (I’m a sucker for The XX) and waited for the show to begin.

 All the pieces were expertly draped and fitted, even the ones that hung loose. Many little details made the pieces special: a black draped cocktail dress with a cape-like shoulder detail, dresses with rounded backs. etc.  There were some special pieces: what looked like a plain white shirt, when seen from behind, actually had a cut-out back with a gorgeous silver cowl.  Menswear wonderfully influenced the separates, and I fell in love with Tia’s well-tailored pants and white blouses — a great contrast to the more feminine looks in the collection.

An unusual emphasis was placed on the backs of garments. Dresses were rounded rather than fitted, open-backed blouses featured cowl details, dresses would appear belted from the rear (when there was no visible belt in the front), and there was even an amazing orange cape thrown into the mix. Tia played heavily with the idea of asymmetry — it was represented some way in nearly every look. There was also an interesting contrast between shiny and matte fabrics. It made me stop and think: how much sparkle can a working woman get away with? I usually associate serious shimmer with party dresses, but Tia changed my mind.

Throughout the show, my fellow photographers had comments about every look (good and bad); however, on the last look, everyone was struck speechless. A creamy mango asymmetrical dress with three long layers of silk and a faille cape-of-sorts appeared on the runway. After the entire fashion season, it still comes to mind as one of my favorite looks.

Tia Cibani

All close-ups via Future Claw, all wide-shots by me.

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