Nathalia Gaviria’s Romantic Apocalypse Vision Reflected in NG Gold S/S 2021
Designing fashion during a most-peculiar year led Nathalia Gaviria to remain true to her design formula, through which she revisited one of her first design loves—plaid —for her NG Gold Spring/Summer 2021 collection. While mulling over how to reapproach this classic fashion favorite, Gaviria could not ignore the current state of the world as concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental responsibility and the link between these issues increasingly became part of everyday life.
“[Plaid] immediately took me to punk, but I didn’t want it to be a punk collection and I don’t think it translates to punk, but that was the initial inspiration,” Gaviria explained. “Fun things that you could do in 2020 all have to do with being at the park, being outdoors or being at the lake. The fact that we can’t do these things without a mask—it all became a bit of an apocalyptic mix.”
Searching for simplicity within an environment of chaos, Gaviria reflected on an uncomplicated era well before technology. Within this reconnection to simpler times, the Los Angeles designer decided to send an ecological message through a short film and campaign directed by Juan Falla, with photography by Sarah Ellen, which features models who are enjoying the seemingly beautiful, serene outdoors but must remain protected against pollutive destruction. Maintaining a local presence, Gaviria’s team shot the campaign at Ernest Debs Park located in northeast Los Angeles’ Montecito Hills neighborhood.
“It’s many things. It feels a little nostalgic. A lot of the pieces are inspired by the Victorian era. I was trying to mix that—a nostalgia for the past when you could enjoy everything and it was simpler without technology, and the fact that right now we have to use our mask,” Gaviria explained. “It’s becoming very bad. I was trying to make a statement as far as ecology. That is why at the end of the film she is breathing through a lace mask but breathing from the tree directly.”
Known for designs that uniquely blend elegance with playfulness, refinement with rock ’n’ roll and her younger years with her current lifestyle, Gaviria typically creates pieces that are meant to allow clients to have fun with their garments. Blending her beloved plaid woolens with denim, chiffon, leather and lace, Gaviria introduces a fresh take on these crossbar patterns. The designer’s Mona jacket is a fully embroidered piece adorned with in pearls, crystals and taffeta flowers, featuring an image of the “Mona Lisa.” Romantic, sheer baby-doll dresses and lacy short skirts with long trains evoke a surreal point of view on classic romance, while a pearl-spike-and-crystal bejeweled bright-white bodysuit with lace train complemented by a gas mask comprising the same details illustrates that the planet is becoming a beautiful disaster.
“Throughout the entire shoot, we tried to have details that are protesting against things that are affecting our environment,” Gaviria explained. “For example, he is fishing on a beautiful lake, but he is fishing a plastic mask out of the pond. Or they are having a picnic but the fruits have worms and flies, but the worms are made out of crystal.”
For this collection’s inspiration, Gaviria credits her daughter, who—at 12 years old—has become increasingly aware of environmental issues and is influencing her mother to become more responsible. During the creation of this latest collection, which Gaviria says is the smallest she has ever released, she remained dedicated to designing a capsule that reflects her fashion vision yet that is less wasteful and sends a message through her artistry.
“This is the world we are leaving to our kids. My daughter is so concerned about everything, and she has every right. Look at her reality. I was thinking it would be nice to be part of the solution and awakening,” Gaviria said. “Even though I am not an ecologist, or an activist, and I am part of a fashion industry that wastes and we are part of the problem, this is the time we need to reconsider what we do. Make it very special, smaller and less wasteful.”
Photos by Sarah Ellen.