CÔTE D’AZUR COLORS
Kevan Hall’s SS2024 Collection Inspired by the Elegance of 1930s France
Paris has historically topped the list of influential fashion destinations, but for Kevan Hall’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, the designer was inspired by the city’s northwesterly neighbor Deauville, France. Hall took inspiration for his eponymous brand’s Cote d’Azur collection from a specific era during the 1930s when designers presented their pieces by allowing models and clients to wear the garments during strolls along the promenade.
“I love that period in terms of the cuts of the dresses, the relaxed ease of the après beachwear feel,” said Hall, who was also inspired by Sonja Delaunay’s Orphism art movement. “You have Sonja Delaunay also in the 1930s working and becoming a friend to many of the designers, fashion folks and artists of that period. We based our beautiful abstract plant print on her practice. She was famous for paintings but also textiles, fashion and set design.”
The artist’s work informed Hall’s creation of a floral watercolor crinkle-chiffon off-the-shoulder top and a halter dress in the same print and fabrication.
But Hall also allowed his inspiration for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection to reach beyond the chic streets of Deauville, 830 miles southeast to the glamour of Cannes. During Hall’s visit to St-Tropez to see his brother, actor and director Vondie Curtis-Hall, the designer was touched by the hues of the sea in addition to the color palette of the town’s chateaux and cafés.
“We were there during the Cannes Film Festival. We took a car to the festival and we were taking some film footage but we also did the red carpet. There is no red carpet like the Cannes Film Festival—the gowns, the jewels, everything about it was glamorous,” Hall noted. “I looked at that as the total arc of the collection. It is going from this really wonderful, relaxed, elevated resort accessibility all the way to the film festival in Cannes.”
Additional standout themes from the collection, which is now showcased on kevanhalldesigns.com, include the Cote d’Azur grand plaid, a colorful pattern in boxy brushstrokes that appear on a number of pieces including a column bustier gown with side slit, halter swing dress, trench coat, flutter-sleeve maxi dress, shirting, and suiting of a tie-front jacket and palazzo pant. Hall also chose the colorful pinks, teal, lime and yellow in the embroidered Deauville stripe, which appeared on a jumpsuit and shirting.
Hall’s gift for raising the bar on red-carpet glamour is most evident in pieces such as a palm-leaf fil coupé bustier gown in peridot, a silk chiffon ombré gown with lace and floral appliqué in peridot and turquoise, and a crushed-ice Cannes bustier gown.
“There is a lot of texture, a kind of feast for the eyes. It keeps your eye moving throughout the collection because of all the texture and the beautiful colors,” explained Hall. “One of the final gowns is a beautiful crushed ice in metallic silk organza. The beading for the side panels and the back of that dress are all glass beads with embroidery underneath the glass so it magnifies the embroidery.”
Adding elements of responsible luxury
Through a partnership with Chatham, the more than 80-year-old pioneer of lab-grown gemstones, the Los Angeles–based Hall was able to add jewels to the collection while showcasing pieces on the runway to make a statement on sustainable luxury.
“Early on, he brought fabric swatches that he was looking to use for the Spring/Summer collection. We looked at the fabric swatches, we looked at the color palette he was going to use, and we talked a lot about his inspiration,” said Monica McDaniel, vice president and marketing director at the luxury company, which has been using a controlled environment to create gemstones naturally. “We pulled the gemstones straight out of that fabric.”
The nature of lab-grown gemstones allows designers to bypass the ecological and humanitarian threats of mining precious pieces from the earth. Chatham’s vibrant stones complemented Hall’s designs, enhancing his elegant garments. Hall’s love of color and Chatham’s commitment to creating an exquisite stone was a perfect pairing, according to McDaniel.
“Harry [Chatham], the president and owner of Chatham, said, ‘Sell a woman diamonds—she’ll wear them with everything. Sell a woman color and she’ll create a wardrobe.’ Kevan loved that,” McDaniel said. “We immediately connected. We thought it would be wonderful to work together.”