"On a Limb"
William Bradley’s A/W ’12 line brings nature back to the foreground
of high fashion
By Kelsey Hendrix
Inspired. Impeccable. Innovative. The William Bradley A/W 2012 line was a sight to behold and a testament to the power of what can come when creative thinking and natural talent are put to the test.
On March 24, this small-town, student show at the Harrison Galleries in Tuscaloosa, Alabama took on the character of a fashion week headliner, producing only the most inspired of looks and tailor-made pieces. It took the classic ideas of femininity and masculinity, combining them to produce sleek coats, silk jumpsuits, and loose trousers, as designer William Bradley, a senior design student at the University of Alabama, dared to stray from traditional chic. His use of mix-matched textures, fabrics and colors, inspired by the irrational and eclectic tendencies of nature, took the audience by surprise.
The models portrayed the image of men and women too confident to conform, with the music and atmosphere only emphasizing the overlying idea that fashion holds high power when inspired by an innate sense of design.
Splashes of deep tones against black textured tights and rich, collared trenches captivated the attention of those in attendance. A color scheme of deep purple, navy blue, honey brown, rich black and stark white defined a strict theme that is not only wearable but bold.
William Bradley is best known for infusing nuanced sophistication with elements of strength and posterity. His ability to completely immerse himself into his work and the creative process in creating a line is readily obvious to the viewer as his passion and vision come to life in motion on the runway. When asked about his inspiration for his “On A Limb” show, Bradley said the line is “about the juxtaposition between hard and soft materials and the amazing harmony that is produced when you combine the two together.” And the sass and sophistication couldn’t be more obvious.
Bradley’s use of traditional, natural and synthetic fabrics portrayed a depth of purpose behind the articles of clothing. A golden men’s coat created from tapestry hit the knees defining a man importance, while a plum colored silk blouse paired with a honey brown, western-style skirt employed a sense of initiative in casual situations. His McQueen-esque style is fascinating and awe-inspiring, while remaining relatable and desirable all at the same time.
(Above: Menswear tapestry gold coat from the collection)
Elaborate closures accentuated even more elaborate collars that lined the rim of coats that exclaim confidence. Simple patterns, thick scarves and leather accentuation added to the candor of the line. A clear art for tailoring peered through as trousers fit tight behind and loose at the ankle, giving off the impression of greater height and length that is so often desired.
In a show which assaulted the senses almost every other second, a premier collection was born. All of the traditional rules of fashion went out the window, as William Bradley worked to break the boundaries drilled into the minds of men and women since the age of infancy. The basis of femininity seemed to take on the energy and vigor of the clothes, transforming a typically average skirt or jumpsuit into a magical garment, full of surprises and hidden textured treasures.
(Left, the designer himself. Right, Flyer from his recent showing.)
Designs and more information about the designer can be found at www.williambradley.co. And as the phrases “unpredictable nature, evolution from hard to soft, the rhythm of nature, and beauty transformed,” dash across the screen, a line will be realized that exposes the idea that the sky really is the limit and fashion is merely a test of the imagination.
(Photos courtesy of : Corey Nolen and WilliamBradley.co)
Updated on May 2, 2011 - William Bradley, designer, showed at the 1st Annual Birmingham Fashion Week 2011 on Friday, April 29, 2011, and won "Design Star of Birmingham Fashion Week 2011".
Photos by: Andrew Hester