The San Juan Daily Star
Brandon Maxwell’s resort 2023
By Iris Edén Santiago
Special to The STAR
I first focused on Brandon Maxwell in 2016. First Lady Michelle Obama rocked the cover of InStyle magazine wearing an asymmetrical sleeveless dress in teal, by Maxwell. While Obama’s choice was perfection, it was also a wink for an up-and-coming American designer. Over the years she has used her power to support new designers like Maxwell and Jason Wu, something the fashion industry will always be grateful for.
Soon the New York-based designer became a household name. In 2018 Jane Fonda turned heads as she walked the Red Carpet in a belted red suit over a pink halter top. Wow! Not that the Hollywood diva and fitness guru needed any help to look like a million. But the ensemble from the designer’s SS 2018 collection did so much more. Fonda, 80 at the time, radiated confidence, style and youth. Any designer able to rejuvenate and super glamorize a legend like Fonda with just one look - or one color - is one to watch. And I did.
Born in 1984, the young and uber talented designer has gone nowhere but up. His joie de vivre has been present in all his collections since his first show in 2015. Powerful women dressed by him include another First Lady, Jill Biden; Oprah Winfrey and Queen Rania of Jordan. Among the celebrities in his list are Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Nicole Kidman and Kerry Washington. Of course, Maxwell is never far from his close friend and muse, Lady Gaga, with whom he has been working since 2010.
Resort RTW 2023
Designed in California, the collection is stylish and girly. Malibu Barbie references are inevitable. Airbrushed palm trees, dip-dyed hems, beachy landscapes. Everything feels warm, happy and coastal. The sherbet colors, the sweet vibe, and not to be ignored, the fabulous big hair. I mean the styling is so important. In this case, the hair styles are almost rivaling the flawless looks. The teasing, the bows, the 1960s-inspired hairdos. It all works.
Maxwell presented sundresses, ballgowns, chambray shirts and pencil skirts with fluted hems. His signature bubble mini dress was updated with a flattering triangle neckline. Foil-embroidered A-Line skirts are matched to mock neck sweaters. Pointelle stitch wool polo top and mini skirt sets are shown in apple green and pink. This color combination is also used in column ballgowns, sheath dresses, wide leg pants and single breasted blazers.
Ball gowns are summery and colorful with tight bodices and wide straps. The colors are delicious : orange, apple green, raspberry, strawberry and lime. And there is also some black and white for the chic widows. Princess skirts and fabulous midi skirts in wide horizontal stripes are jaw-dropping. The pleating is impeccable, as is the use of clear rectangular pailettes over ombré skirts worn with sweaters in contrasting colors. Maxwell’s peplums are everywhere! Peplum pencil skirts , peplum crop tops, and peplum midi dresses. His pleated wide leg pants in cotton silk with blazers in wide horizontal stripes are winning.