PARIS, March 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On March 4th, Renee Cafaro Atelier broke down barriers as the only exclusively plus size haute couture collection to show at Paris Fashion Week in Flying Solo’s Ones to Watch. The runway show was presented at La Galerie Bourbon, steps away from the Arc de Triomph. Cafaro’s Velvet Goldmine collection, inspired by glam rock fashion icons such as David Bowie and the 1998 highly-acclaimed movie of the same name, featured rich hues, fine fabrics, feathers, glittering crystal embellishments and metal mesh. “Sandy Powell’s award-winning costume design truly impacted my personal style as well as fueled my desire to design from a young age,” Cafaro explains. “Bringing the opulence of dandy and glam to plus size for the first time at this level is something I’ve always wanted to do. I love playing with masculine and feminine energies and juxtaposing glitter with a power tie, the way my personal fashion heroes have like Bowie and Annie Lennox.”
In addition to plush velvets and power suits, gold and animal prints were a theme on her runway, most notably a metal mesh sheath screen-printed with a leopard print that was only revealed at the end of the catwalk from under a fur-collared leather and bouclé overcoat. The show progressed from teal or gold leopard jacquard 3-piece suiting to purple hues and feathers. The Colette Caftan (named after Toni Colette) brought fall florals in the form of sequins and trimmed in ostrich feathers. The finale jacket made of purple silk faille featured a dramatic sequin-lined train and feather shoulder pack crafted by Cafaro upon arrival in Paris.
However the real standout might have been the charcoal black- and teal- pinstriped first look which she called “The Westwood.” The fiercely-tailored skirt suit was made of menswear Super 80 wool and offset by avant-garde construction, wire and oddly-placed pocket square on the lapel. “I wanted the suit to be a sculptural piece so we installed copper wire in all the seams so I could mold the collar and peplum on the model- getting the best movement and angles then freezing them. The asymmetrical placket and corsetry on the sides were inspired by Vivienne Westwood, so I named it after her while I was designing this on my dress form – many weeks before she passed so that was odd timing. Same thing happened with my metal mesh pieces. I’ve always loved working with metal mesh, but then Paco Rabanne who is seen as a pioneer of chain mail recently died. So though these weren’t created specifically as a posthumous homage to (Westwood and Rabanne), I’d like to dedicate part of my collection to them.”
ABOUT RENEE CAFARO ATELIER-
Renee Cafaro Atelier is the haute couture design house and parent company to ready-to-wear brand, Public Label, known for its patented built-in bra Game Changer dress. Cafaro was previously known to the fashion world as the US Editor for the premier print media for curvy women, SLiNK Magazine from London. Renee is all too aware of the pitfalls in the industry which is why she has committed to creating high-quality items with a focus on fit and functionality for the 68% of women who are plus size. Renee creates as she lives – with purpose. Everything under the Renee Cafaro Atelier company umbrella is made by her and a collection of BIPOC New Yorkers from materials purchased locally in hopes to revitalize the Garment District one dollar at a time, making her one of the few fashion houses that prioritize workers’ rights, fair wage and ethical practices.
Cafaro credits her passion to her past career in politics. “I started out as a labor organizer constantly advocating for social justice, so to me, the transition into plus size fashion wasn’t as much of a leap as some may think. For plus size people, fashion isn’t just about trends, it’s about equitable treatment and access to something as basic as clothing and self-expression. I always say that I am ‘fashion on a mission.’ I am here to blaze a trail for everyone who feels left out by the industry and showcase people of all sizes in all the sartorial splendor of my inspirations (such as) Elsa Schiaparelli or Givenchy, all while doing right by the unsung heroes cutting and sewing. We can have high fashion whilst also having fair-wages and fair-access for all.”
More on Renee Cafaro Atelier/RCA Public Label can be found at www.rcapubliclabel.com
SOURCE Renee Cafaro Atelier