Preview: Long Live Libertine
Last New York Fashion season featured two notable comebacks: Tara Subkoff’s return to the runways after surviving a brain tumor and Olivier Theyskens’s mini-comeback after his ousting from Nina Ricci. This winter’s story is Libertine, its second go-ahead in Gotham and the brand’s happy-go-lucky creative director Johnson Hartig. Libertine only showed once in New York during the last four years, and in that time Hartig harmoniously separated from the company’s co-founder Cindy Greene. But life (and production, and sales went on) and in some ways Los Angeles-based Hartig has felt more inspired than ever this season, even if his obsessions are currently all over the place. “British World War I dazzle ships! Swiss chard! Joe Colombo! Istanbul! And Penis…” were some key words that he came up with when listing his current sources of happiness.
And the designer adds that he’s ready for the solo spotlight. “Obviously there’s a freedom being at the helm, and being able to explore any whim without considering one’s partners direction is refreshing,” he pointed out. “Jesus, maybe that’s why I’m single!” Hartig also admitted that making comebacks is no easy task, especially in today topsy-turvy economy. “Getting sponsorship money seems much more difficult these days,” he conceded. “The last show we did we had people throwing money at us and this time, well…” But that doesn’t stop him from setting very clear and ambitious personal and professional goals with this showing. “I’m really feeling like I’m in a position to give and receive love for the first time in my life I think,” theorized the designer. “As for Libertine? I foresee world domination one fraction at a time.”
More from Libertine’s fall 2011 collection:
Photographs by Alexis Dahan