Hollywood, July 28, 2006 - In March 2005, Marina Toybina took over the reigns of Glaza and re-vamped, re-energized, and re-glamorized the design house. The transformation was celebrated with a fashion show debuting Glaza's new collection at the Montmartre Lounge.
Since the start of Glaza in 2002, Toybina and ex-partner Ashton Hirota have 'stood by the art of fashion,' designing for the sake of art rather than red carpets. As a result, Glaza has continually presented timeless, pseudo-gothic couture pieces that have, ironically, attracted celebrity after celebrity.
For her new collection, Toybina has certainly embraced over-the-top couture while retaining Glaza's renowned one-of-a-kind aesthetic and keen attention to detail. Rather than focusing on modernity, however, Toybina has reverted to centuries-old fashion for inspiration. As a result, the new Glaza collection is a showcase of 16th-century and Baroque fashions intermingled with Glaza's classic gothic flair.
The collection entitled, 'Resurrection,' certainly oozed the meaning of 'rebirth.' Like the original Glaza designs, Toybina's first few pieces experimented with different textures layering leather, denim, chiffon, and silk. Rather than utilizing various colors, however, Toybina chose to stay with a monotone pallette, which slowly evolved from black to grays to browns to creams and eventually to white. Along with this color transition was a transformation of the clothing's structure and fabrics. As black became white, layers of leather became delicate folds of chiffon. The once blocky and rigid silhouettes became soft and angelic. It was quite apparent that Toybina was exemplifying her own life's transition in the fashion world: from partner in a design team to the sole creative mind behind a vision.
The dark looks were reminiscent of 16th century fashion in both structure and texture. Conducive to the styles of the 16th century, Toybina instituted a stiffening of the internal structure of the garments that produced stiff silhouettes and contained and controlled the appearance of female sexuality. Ruffs (the high, ornate collars traditionally worn by women in the 16th century) were worn in the Glaza show as accessories, like a necklace. This rigid accessory, however, was paired with a feminine fitted top that resembled Baroque period dresses: low necks, flowing sleeves, and needle lace trim around the neckline. Thus, Toybina infused the overall utilitarian aesthetic of this phase of the collection with a unique sensuality.
After the dark period, or 16th century inspired looks, came the lighter portion of the collection, or Baroque inspired pieces. Just as Baroque fashion traded in rigidity and stiffness for ethereal volume, Toybina's collection evolved from gothic to gossamer. This portion of the collection presented a parade of bouncy bubble dresses, satin gowns with seemingly never-ending flowing trains, and peasant tops for men. Quite different from the first half of the collection, these angelic looks emphasized a graceful femininity.
Toybina carried on the Glaza tradition of exquisite detailing. The dark looks were decorated with rich red highlights: a blood red silk ascot was tucked into a black leather trench coat and feathers adorned one shoulder of a black leather coat. In the lighter looks, delicate needle lace trimmed the edges of a lighter-than-air white chiffon bubble dress, and yellow fabric roses with dainty lace trim decorated the waist of a bronze strapless dress. These fine details were also seen in the structure of the collection as Toybina toyed with traditional hemlines and shape. For example, the crotch of skinny black leather pants was extended to the knees and was decorated with single row of antiquated silver buttons. Dresses had empire waist lines and hemlines that reached the very top of the thigh, creating a wide silhouette that elongated the legs.
An ornate wedding dress with billowing, bubbling layers of satin, lace, chiffon, and crystals concluded the show and was followed by the collection's final parade. As the models stood on the runway, the audience was able to see the transformation from stiff, structured, and dark to whimsical, ethereal, and white. Together, each individual piece created a time line of fashion and life.
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Photographs courtesy of Elias Tahan Photography.