Monday night looked like a Saturday at the Randi Rahm Couture/Ink Evolution, hosted in Ian Schrager’s cutting edge multipurpose PUBLIC Arts space at PUBLIC. All couture, part late-night happening, and full party, Couture/Ink showcased Rahm’s unrivaled uptown elegance cloaked in the edgy allure of downtown. “I consider my work part of a fashion evolution, not just in rotating ‘collections’,” has always been Rahm’s mantra.
The Runway Show:
Guests arrived through the garden entry and descended into the dimly-lit Studio 54 meets Moulin-Rouge inspired PUBLIC Arts space. Passing by the bar dressed in candelabras and ivy, the attendees were wowed by an opening presentation of tattoo design by Anthony Iannucci and starring Rachel Lindsay (ABC’s The Bachelorette). Rahm’s signature gowns, many inspired by the art of tattoo, dazzled party-goers in their sumptuous dark and gem tones that reflected the mood of the evening.
The surprise couture standout was Rahm’s menswear: diamond embellished tailored shirts, billowing amorphous skirts, golden suits, and purple lined floor-length capes draped in chains and leather embellishments took centerstage.
“I am inspired towards my designs by people – lots of ideas come to me from colors or motifs found in other mediums. I’ll see a pink used in a painting and think – there are 50 tones here, and bring it back into my work.” describes Rahm on the inspiration for this collection. “Couture/Ink, was inspired by the art of tattoo. By my friends who are tattoo artists. They are amazing talent, whether you like tattoos, have them, or not. There’s a fine art and a dexterity behind that endeavor that sparked my creativity.
I thought: would’nt that be interesting: to try and create that intricacy in embroidery and beading? I realized I must interpret ‘tattoo’ very differently working with fabrics and materials than straight pen to paper or skin. It was difficult to get the same impact in beads, threads, and sequins. It was a loved challenge.”
Models of all ages, sizes, and gender identities- with special appearances from guest-artists from the New York City nightlife scene. From black work to beadwork, Couture/Ink celebrated breathtaking individuality and exacting artistry.
The After Party:
Note-worthy attendees included: Rachel Lindsay (ABC’s The Bachelorette), Jill Zarin (Real Housewives of New York), Melanie Moore (SYTYCD Winner), Mary E Bassy (Singer), Cyn Santana (VH1’s Love and Hip Hop), influencer Tammy Hembrow, hair stylist to the stars Chaz Dean, and Broadway’s James Brown III. The eclectically chic audience – who kept the party going way past the custom tracks from Chew FU (Rihanna, Lady Gaga), stopped spinning- mirrored the variety that is the lifeblood of NYC itself. In an age where inclusivity teeters on trend, Rahm’s vision centered around self-expression. Couture/Ink reinforced an underlying, unifying message: Peace. Love. Rahm.
The Fabric Choice:
“For me, it is all about texture and depth in materials.” says Rahm. “One of my personal favorites reflected in this collection are velvets and cout de velours. We call them cut velvets in america. It’s unfortunate that we pigeon hole it here to only winter-but there are such beautiful velours or cut velvets that are so beautiful, light, and airy that they are actually suited for spring, summer, transitional, or year round wear. I am also taken by laces, embroideries, and french ribbon. Detail and depth is what I look for.”
What are the characteristics of the Randi Rahm dressed man or woman?
“There is no difference.” describes Rahm, “My work is never presented in collections: it is part of an Evolution. We are all growing. Good fashion should be a reflection of yourself- man, woman, or an identity walking- it should be for yourself. Therefore, personal fashion never goes out of style. It is something that speaks to you as who you are and makes you feel good, A classically trained conductor and concert pianist with degrees in art history and music, Rahm was destined for success in a creative field. Her design vision combines her love of dance, fine art, and music- a pastiche of influences which helped Rahm innovate throughout her career. Rahm has been dressing Hollywood icons, Broadway leads, elegant brides, and power women and men around the world of all shapes and sizes for over 25 years. As one of the last remaining American couture houses, Randi Rahm is proud to be made in New York.”
Photography: Getty Images
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