style.com: Chadwick Bell Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear review
NEW YORK, September 13, 2011
By Alison Baenen
For Spring, Chadwick Bell imagined a quirky art collector—not a far cry from some of his current clients, to hear him tell it—whose wardrobe should stand up to the work on her walls. Bell injected an architectural edge into his pieces, giving a short-sleeve cotton jacket bands of strong seams that kept it from collapsing onto the body, but he also worked to make things, as he said during the presentation, “a little less serious.” He achieved a bit of levity by treating silk faille like denim. The hem on an ivory skirt puckered like denim would, and had a relaxed, uncomplicated shape.
Embellishment was new. (“I didn’t think I would ever use a paillette,” Bell joked.) Clusters of caviar beads made up the abstract birds’ eyes that appeared on a few of the evening looks, with the rest of the avian form swooping in through embroidery. Colorful, beaded birds on an organza chemise in pale yellow were the height of art-snob chic; if you smoke, which you shouldn’t, this would be the type of piece to accessorize with a slender cigarette holder. Bell’s first-time paillettes were just as you would expect: not too shiny, and in cool tones like chalk and smoke. This was lighter fare than we’ve seen from Bell before, but substantial nonetheless.