Mandy Coon’s Organic Season

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Published September 10, 2010

 

 

Mandy Coon is seeing jellyfish. The New York model-turned-DJ-turned-designer often looks to the organic when designing her multi-length, diaphanous collections, so the ghostly sea-creatures are a fitting inspiration. But no translucent pinks or pale taupes—like real sea jellies—appeared on her runway. Instead, Mandy cites the black and white jellyfish study of Camille Solyagua for her models. “They are so, so subtle and beautiful,” Coon explains. “I think there is another side to the creatures, besides the colorful way they are normally depicted.” To mimic tendrils and tentacles, dresses were layered, with often floor-length swaths of chiffon or raw-edged fabric with deliberate loose hems. To prevent soft billowing from becoming “poufy,” tubes of leather or bunched hems weighted waists and edges—a geometry mimicked in the model’s hair. Cementing her theme, Ion Salon textured each of the model’s tresses, straightened the mid-section, and did an “inside-out” braid that wrapped around the crown. The effect looks as if each model has a hair-colored jelly placed on their head, a particularly captivating choice when paired with a leather-tubed belt that echoes the shape.

Invertebrate aren’t the only animals that get Mandy’s love. Elle style director dropped in to give the designer an enthusiastic hug, toting the Ginny Bunny Bag for Opening Ceremony Mandy just released on her wrist. “I was doing a lot of work and watching Some Came Running, a later Rat Pack movie, and Shirley Maclaine played Ginny, this character who carried around a little dirty, beat-up stuffed bunny. But it had a little lipstick and compact inside, and I just fell in love with it. I wanted to make it cute, but sleek.” From jellyfish hair to lapine clutches, the vision of Mandy Coon is whimsical and imaginative, but is also officially emerging as an influential force in New York design.