Heidi Gardner’s “Chop Shop” at the Hôtel Americano shed a darker light into the underlying opulence of 90′s grunge and goth class, prevalent in Autumn/Winter 2012. The surgical theme was mixed with a nostalgia for the eerie, dark industrial sounds from Nine Inch Nails’, Closer and Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence that evoked disturbance and trauma. The presentation was unsettling, like a near death experience exemplified in serial killer lair scene of a horror film. Binding the aural experience with the graphic nature of the jewelry collection intensified the senses of survival and was successfully executed. Colleen Nika’s “haute grunge” playlist for next season’s NYFW was spot on.
Gardner’s macabre environment in various hotel rooms included blood laced on walls, set of models lured over a dead “corpse” on a plastic wrapped mattress and lifelessly reposed in bathtubs. Exquisite St. Germain cocktails served as an anesthesia to the senses that made it bearable to stomach the gore. Specimens placed on autopsy trays were receptacles of decadent objects that de-iconized human skulls. Large pelvic pendants on leather, spinal bangles, pelvic ring with diamonds were metal casted. In addition to the skeletal inspiration, human organs like the heart, kidney and liver made the “cut”.
Promising that it would be a presentation like no other, jewelry designer Heidi Gardner certainly did not disappoint. Editors and writers were invited to the El Privado Room for bites and drinks before being ushered in small groups for the real treat. The inspiration for her Fall 2012 collection—the macabre and human body—came to life with Gardner’s stable of models showing off their dark side next to trays of jewelry that glimmered underneath the strategically placed lights. The pieces themselves are certainly well-crafted and are bound to catch the eye of any unconventional girl (Front Row).