Suzanne Raeâ??s Portal to the Universe

“I do believe in redefining femininity,” says Brooklyn-based womenswear designer Suzanne Rae Pelaez, who creates clothing that sublimely reconciles power and fragility. The 34-year-old, who launched her eponymous line, Suzanne Rae, in 2010 after stints at Costume National and Morgane Le Fay, explains, “I aim for an aesthetic that is soft yet hard, delicate yet strong. I think it is appropriate for the modern progressive woman who isn’t just putting on a man’s suit to feel empowered.” Drawing from not only the materials themselves (“flattering and comfortable, which I view as enabling”), but also narrative-driven concepts  (photographer Francesca Woodman; cult philosophy book 2150 AD), Pelaez crafts clothing with a story.

Rather than a runway presentation, Pelaez will debut her Spring/Summer 2014 ready-to-wear collection today via an online vehicle she dubs “the Portal,” an interactive web platform. The site, which will take over the domain for the duration of New York Fashion Week, will allow visitors to gain a more hands-on account of the collection by perusing mood boards, fabric swatches, photos, and a video shot by Christopher Gabello and Zander Taketomo, which we’re happy to exclusively premiere here.

Suzanne Rae ss14 from Gabello Studios on Vimeo.

Peleaz found inspiration in the ’70s utopian philosophy book 2150 A.D. by Thea Alexander and  explores what she calls “enlightened fashion” in her offering for spring—a utilitarian-minded line-up that evaluates the needs of futuristic humans, translated in minimalist silhouettes, crisp whites, and high performance fabrics. But it’s no Logan’s Run—Pelaez counters the sport function of her pieces with a form that has plenty of ease: crinkled organza, organic prints, and plenty of soft and sheer elements, bringing the garments back down to earth.