Grey Ant Spring 2011 – Inspiration – “Bed, Bette and Beyond”

DESIGNER: Grant Krajecki for Grey Ant

INSPIRATION: Vintage linens, Bette Midler, packing materials (declared the invitation)

TOP LOOKS: Light-gray vintage-linen shell top paired with matching, floor-grazing skirt; black jersey dress, slit open in front from breastbone to crotch; sheer navy voile fitted dress with visible darting

ACCESSORIES: Fabulous high-heel athletic sandals, a product of Grey Ant’s collaboration with Teva; “butt bras,” low-slung belts that snuggled models’ derrieres in Lycra; chunky platform sandals made of corrugated cardboard

WHO WAS THERE: Fashion-loving figure skater Johnny Weir, jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, various bloggers, friends and supporters of the label

WHAT WE THOUGHT: Grey Ant designer Grant Krajecki titled his spring runway show “Bed, Bette and Beyond.” The phrase was a clever way to meld his three influences this season: antique bed linens, the Divine Miss M, and packing materials. They might seem scattered, but there is an underlying, uniting theme: New York.

The designer recently immigrated to the city that never sleeps for a CFDA Fashion Incubator residency, and has been living out of boxes for the past six months. “It’s really major,” the designer said. “You’re moving everything — your apartment, your offices and studio, your entire team.” Seeing as the move overshadowed this season’s design process, Krajecki simply incorporated it into his spring collection, referencing packing materials with the papery textures, muted color palette, and corrugated-cardboard platforms.

Krajecki was also thinking of Bette Midler, his ideal New York icon. She inspired the butt-hugging back details on many of the collection’s dresses and skirts, and the vintage-lingerie pieces that were just visible beneath sheer pieces. “I was thinking of Bette in the ’30s. It just feels very New York to me,” he explained. Finally, there were the bed linens. Much of the clothing was one-of-a-kind, fashioned from sumptuous antique bedding and deadstock classic linens. “Since the move, all I want to do is sleep, so that’s where that came from.”

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