INTO: Collina Strada’s Garden Variety of Seashells, Tomatoes, and Bedazzled Sneakers

By
Photography Charlie Engman

Published June 17, 2019

“Into” is a series dedicated to objects, artworks, garments, exhibitions, and all orders of things that we are into—and there really isn’t a lot more to it than that. Today: Mark Burger expounds his adoration for Collina Strada’s environmentally-friendly, delightfully shabby Resort 2020 collection, which includes prints and photographs by Charlie Engman.

I’M INTO Collina Strada’s Resort 202o collection because it combines two of my greatest interests: environmentalism and floral prints reminiscent of my grandmother’s couch. Charlie Engman and Hillary Taymour met the way all great photographers and designers do: via Craigslist, when he responded to an internship opening she posted for fashion label Collina Strada. The rest, as they say, is history. For the last decade, the two artists have collaborated through the label, combining fashion, photography, and a shared sense of aesthetic and environmental values. Their 2020 Resort collection, called Radical Transparency, is an outcome of Collina Strada’s ongoing efforts towards sustainability, including prints made from Engman’s photographs as well as the use of deadstock materials that would usually be thrown out or left unused. The models featured in the collection’s lookbook include singer Zsela, 15-year-old Synphanie Mojica, and Engman’s own mother, Kathleen McCain Engman–because who doesn’t love a designer who keeps it all in the family? What’s more, Collina Strada was recently nominated as a finalist for the 2019 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund, certifying Taymour as one of the foremost, upcoming New York fashion talents. The patterns are whimsical and vivid, delightfully embellished with pins, brooches, seashells, and glittering beads that literally let me wear my love of horticulture on my sleeve. It’s a collection for the days when I have a business meeting at 3, but have to prune the tomatoes at the community garden by 3:30; perfect for a morning meditation with my plants, an afternoon of post-brunch composting with loved ones, or a night out at a gala in support of my favorite environmental charity group.