Photo by Chiaroscuro Fotografia
As of Thursday, August 19, 2021
For designer Dalia MacPhee, this year signals a return to fashion and the positivity that it can offer. When envisioning the campaign for her Fall 2021 collection, MacPhee wanted the feel of New York City but was not traveling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MacPhee decided instead to shoot in the Long Beach, Calif., Arts District.
“Because I am really missing New York, I wanted to do a New York vibe. When you think of fall fashion, I always think of what is happening in New York,” MacPhee said. “Also, I wanted to support the [Long Beach] area. The Arts District is great there because there are tons of nooks and crannies and older buildings and brick walls and murals and whatnot. It wasn’t busy. It’s perfect.”
The first Dalia MacPhee shoot that the designer produced since the start of the pandemic, this campaign signaled a rebirth following lockdown. It is this reentrance into fashion that MacPhee hopes will extend beyond her personal optimism regarding a return to glamour in her own collection but also an opportunity for the public to embrace quality again, with a return to appreciation for the garment-making craft. During the shoot for the campaign, passersby walking their dogs were crossing paths with MacPhee’s crew. Some of these pets made appearances in the campaign, supporting the designer’s vision of an appreciation for fashion finery that could lead to wearing quality garments while performing simple tasks.
“I have this secret wish that people will start embracing good fashion and quality again. When you start incorporating dogs, and people did walk their dogs dressed up, or they would dress up when flying. There was something really special about that,” MacPhee explained. “Everyone on the shoot was an animal lover. Any time the models saw dogs passing by they would jump in and ask. We ended up having a couple of dogs and a cat.”
The Fall 2021 Dalia MacPhee collection nods to classic fashion elements including bohemian mini dresses and knee-length designs with empire waists, pussy bows and contrasting panels that peek out from under skirts. MacPhee focused on updating her day dresses, which are a staple of every collection. After serving the community by contributing to the manufacturing of protective equipment for healthcare workers, MacPhee experimented with new approaches to her designing.
“We did velveteen, which has a little bit of stretch, solids and some printed, which is really cool. We also played with printing a little bit of glitter effect on the velvet. It looks like rhinestones, but it’s glitter that has been hot printed on to it,” MacPhee said. “The chiffon blends—we printed directly on the material.”
Designs also include a knit collection within which MacPhee mixed details such as lace on sleeves or collars in addition to chiffon insets on skirt designs. Pieces that employed poly-satin blends included prints applied directly to the fabric, and here MacPhee also incorporated sequins.
In addition to her Fall collection, which can be found at daliamacphee.com, MacPhee is cultivating the common good in fashion. After choosing 15 designs, the artist founded the Dress Code initiative, which began in July. Women who have faced challenges and could benefit from a bit of goodwill are receiving dresses that include QR codes with recorded messages that are meant to uplift the recipients. After wearing the dress, the women return the piece to MacPhee, where it is dry cleaned and sent out to another woman with an uplifting message from the previous recipient. MacPhee hopes that this initiative will contribute to creating positive change in the world.
“The ultimate idea is can someone feel like superwoman when she has this on and take that on and can we change someone’s life in the next year?” MacPhee explained. “We need to get to a point where designers are doing things like this.”