Bird on a Wire turns geometric patterns into flowing pieces

Deep slits leave skin around the waist and lower back peaking through.

BEIRUT: Layers of sheer fabric sewn into loose blouses and flowing shorts showed a step away from the structured pieces that have so far typified local fashion brand Bird on a Wire.

“It’s clothing that feels like it’s the end of a summer day, around 5 p.m. You have a tan, you’ve had a shower, and you have this feeling that is really nice. I think we all search for that kind of clothing,” said Rayya Morcos, the young designer behind Bird on a Wire.

Morcos unveiled her spring-summer 2013 collection “Multiplicity” this past week at an exhibit, which was cut short by the weekend’s car bombing in Ashrafieh.

Sheer Swiss cotton, paired with lots of white and airy patterns in maritime colors of blue and red had an undeniably beachy feel.

Even the venue at Alt-City played on the easy-breezy feeling of summer with a man dishing out peanuts in paper cones of the same red pattern as some of the clothing.

Full maxi skirts with uneven hemlines; loose patterned blouses with ruffle detail; elegant maxi dresses in wide floral patterns and revealing cut out backs; and a navy cropped trouser, a first for Bird on a Wire, hung in the wide industrial show space.

The highlight of the playful but sophisticated collection was a series of shorts, which paired Morcos’ flair for geometry and conceptualism with summer’s loose, brightly colored fabrics.

And as in Morcos’ fall-winter line, the white blouse pulled the entire collection together with feminine embellishments like deep necklines, long side-slits up to the waist and translucent detail.

The light and airy “Multiplicity” collection, inspired by themes like consumerism and overpopulation, revealed Marcos’ versatility as a designer. It broke with her fall-winter line, “Heterotropies,” which emphasized structure and conceptualism.

“Heterotropies,” Bird on a Wire’s debut, leaned heavily on architectural inspiration. Morcos slaved over complex patterns and experimented with three-dimensional elements like moldable wiring in dresses and skirts.

“People were a bit afraid to wear the first collection,” she said.

But the installation’s visitors really related to this collection, Morcos said.

“It’s bit more commercial, a bit more wearable,” she added.

Morcos undeniably marches to the beat of her own design drum, but Bird on a Wire’s spring-summer 2013 still incorporated major trends seen on the international spring-summer 2013 runways last month.

For instance, cutouts showed off the lower back, the upper chest and along the button hemline. A spin on the cutout, the deep slit left skin around the waist and lower back peaking through.

“It’s practical,” Morcos said of the long slits, which allow the wearer to tuck the shirt in however they’d like or reach into a pocket easily.

The designer, who’s a formally trained architect, said she will always use geometric pieces like rectangles and squares to construct her clothes. But this time around she was able to manipulate geometric shapes to fall organically on the body, she said.

“It’s still very geometric, based on squares and on rectangles,” Morcos said. “This is the way I work, but it’s the different fabrics. When you use a very flowy fabric, it’s the same pieces but totally different result.”

For instance, an otherwise basic rectangular blouse had an organic feel in a flowing, sheer cotton fabric of wandering stripes. And the feminine A-frame of a long navy dress with a plunging neckline was made entirely of rectangular pieces in the pattern design. The corners of each rectangle hung unaltered at the bottom to create a loose, asymmetrical hemline.

Morcos also turned shorts free and flowing, with the use of layers of fabric that turned this sometimes unflattering clothing item into a rounded curve-friendly interpretation. She tried to mimic the patterned fabric in the shorts’ construction by adding petal-like detail to the hips, a nod to the floral print.

“The whole collection has a fun freshness,” she said. “Usually, I hate summer clothes. Jeans and a T-shirt: It’s as if you’ve been cleaning your house all day. I tried to create a collection where you feel you’re wearing something really nice; you’re not worn down by the day.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 25, 2012, on page 2.




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