Basil Soda Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 Paris

“J’adore la couture, j’ai une passion pour la coupe et l’exercice de texture.” (“I adore couture, I have a passion for the cut and the textural exercise”) Like a Moorish mosaic in Andalusia, Basil Soda is a graphical construct being examined, but existing within a rich cultural tableau of the Orient.

For spring/summer 2013, his ready-to-wear slips into the optical slipstream of the season with the ease of one who’s used to viewing the world through lines and curves, alternations of light and shadows. Soda’s cuts are deceptively simple, emphasizing a slender waist with a peplum, creating curves on a long silhouette. A champagne colored sheath takes on the classic mermaid shape, ridding it of its exaggerated constriction of the legs to replace it with translucent panels that give the illusion of this. His shapes highlight the architectural undertones of his work, and he is the first to describe them as being classic. However, his presentation format has yet to engage completely. His key pieces presented almost as art, is a little too daunting to reach out to extract a piece from within a throng of others. But pass this hurdle to browse his collection and subtle variations that would have needed greater focus can be seen- laser cut lace that mimics perfect round bubbles, to simple A-line dresses, even fluid pieces.

What is striking with his ready-to-wear collection is how it fills the blanks of his couture. Where couture’s embroideries create new delimitations, the ones used here create negative space and serve to subtract and pare down to reach purity in shape. “I come from the Middle East but I don’t need all the embellishment and bling. I’m carving a niche, one that caters to women who admire a certain refined lifestyle, who is young and lives life to the fullest.”

When reaching out to a younger, broader audience, aspirational qualities are something to look for in a brand derived from one’s core business. But with Basil Soda, ready-to-wear isn’t just about capturing a different clientele, it is also about offering himself a new road of expression, a way to rethink the way his couture comes into being. And considering his recent red carpet forays and the discreet visit of French pop star Shy'm, it looks like the leap from society ladies to Lady Gaga is not that far.

- Lily Templeton