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Berít New York’s Fall collection

Berít New York’s Fall collection

I caught my first glimpse of Berít New York’s Fall collection at London Edge, but it didn’t really strike a chord until I saw it walk down the catwalk at A La Mode during London Fashion Week. These clothes are meant to be worn and certainly demand the attention of an audience.

The show started off with a assortment of short and breezy summer dresses by Anna Stretton. The music was light and romantic as the clashing florals and animal prints gave that charity-shop chic feeling. Quite pretty actually, if that’s your sort of thing. Berít was up next and immediately the music turns darker, more dramatic. EBM with tribal undertones, perfect for the next collection. Opening the show strides a woman with the most intense eyes made even more powerful as her face is framed by a medieval-styled hood. What follows is a modern mash up of dark-age glamour with a palate of maroon, black, gold and brown.  Fabrics consisted of suede, leather, chiffon and rich brocade thrown in for good measure. The styling was more Court Jester than Made Marion, yet stepped up a notch so what you may imagine the high flying working girl of the 15th century may wear to the office. Spats were also a feature, one Berít says she is quite fond of including in her work and I rather liked that hers was the only collection of the show to include male fashion.

I caught up with Brit Frady-Williams, the brainchild behind Berit New York after the show:

1.      Could you give me a brief overview to your design background/qualifications and what brought you to where you are today?

After years of mutilating the wardrobe of Barbie dolls, my mother got me a sewing machine for Christmas when I was twelve; that’s when I first learned how to sew. I started modeling from the ages of 13-17 and through that I met many designers and ended up having my first catwalk show at the age of 17. After high school I moved to NYC where I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in fashion design.  I am also a 3rd generation entrepreneur, so it seemed very natural for me to start my own business. I worked in the NYC fashion market for about a year before I ventured out on my own. All of these experiences over the years helped to shape my skills and knowledge of the fashion industry.

2.      Historical fashion seems to be a real inspiration for you, could you tell us why that is?

History to me is one of the most important aspects of being human. Without it we can’t move forward and we don’t have a sense of identity. I’d say I’m a pretty big historical fashion nerd. It really started to come together after I took some fashion history classes at FIT, too. I love being able to look at a certain painting, artifact, image etc. and knowing the era and class just by understanding the fashion of the time. It just proves how important fashion has been in history and how it should impact our present time as well as the future to come.

3.      Looking at your last collection “Retro Futurism” you seemed to have made quite a big jump in time to the dark depths of Medieval. Could you tell us what made such a stark transition?

A few things really, one being that the new collection is for fall and I wanted it to express my current situation. Winter is always a dark time for me and this winter in particular has been really rough. Perhaps it’s a bit conventional, but I do differentiate between autumn and spring as being dark and light so I think that reflects in both my colors pallets and theme for each season. With my Retro Futurism collection I felt like I had to challenge myself with pastels and very playful designs. With this autumn-winter collection, I wanted a more dramatic approach that would complement the other firsts in this collection. For instance, the A/W 2011 collection features the debut of my men’s designs, and it is also the first collection that has had a full, factory production run. To me the medieval theme represented my strengths as a designer as well as my seriousness in growing the Berít New York brand.

The Designer

4.      What is your favourite piece from this new collection and why?

My favorite piece is the women’s hooded cape. It really is a strong design and was by far the most challenging in regards to fit and construction. I think it summed up the collection well and I actually did not think of it at the time, but there is that new Red Riding Hood movie coming out, so it pleases me to have something coinciding with what, if nothing else, looks like a very stylish film that features a medieval setting.  I think it is going to be a very strong seller for fall.

5.      So what then is the next “when”?

I am experimenting with a few eras, but I am leaning toward trying to revamp pre-historic times, give it a kind of anachronistic, sci-fi treatment. Nothing is finalized yet, however; this is just an idea I’m looking into right now. You never know what I will come up with next, I like to keep everyone surprised and on the edge in anticipation.


Published in Alt Fashion

Photos By Taya Uddin