Aliétte Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection

It’s been a minute since Jason Rembert made an Aliétte collection, and when he presented it earlier this week he was in a reflective mood. Remembering an early internship at She, he said when the magazine invited him in to interview, he was a student at Hofstra and didn’t have the Long Island Rail Road fare to make it to the midtown office. “By the end, they were calling in Billionaires Boy Club and BAPE because this little little intern from South Jamaica, Queens, was saying, ‘Maybe you should check out this brand.’ ” An entry-level position at W Magazine followed and he credited the photo shoots he assisted on there for sparking what came next: a successful career styling celebrities, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Lizzo, and Issa Rae among them.

It was the Insecure creator who urged him to start his own label. To hear Rembert tell it, Rae didn’t let the subject drop until he got the brand off the ground. “She’s been the biggest supporter, she’s worn it on her show, on major carpets, at the Emmys this past year.” He founded Aliétte, which he named for his mother and daughter, in 2019. A collection of evening wear informed by his behind-the-scenes experience, it was glam at a time when most new entrants at New York Fashion Week were devoted to streetwear or a scrappy DIY aesthetic. Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Moda Operandi rallied to support the label.

As with any start-up, though, there were challenges. He chalks up the gap between this collection (fall 2022) and his last one (fall 2021) not to the pandemic, which has been devastating for businesses more established than his, but to a lack of inspiration. “Where we are in fashion now, yes, showing on the schedule is great, but showing when you feel it’s right is also important.” Eventually that uninspired feeling passed. His new collection is diverse in silhouette and bright with color and shine, and it includes forays into confident outerwear and tailoring. Signaling his ambition, Rembert name-checked Donna Karan, pointing out that she dressed many different women with her many different lines.

The 30-look collection he’s assembled here feels very much personality-led. There are spangled cocktail dresses with taffeta sleeves that can be worn different ways, sinuously embroidered jumpsuits, Old Hollywood–channeling ruched ball gowns, a wisp of a bias-cut slip worn over neatly tailored trousers, and a pair of feathery tulle princess dresses— one in good girl-ivory and the other in bad girl-black. It coheres the way a red carpet does, which is to say its variety is its virtue. Also: Rembert may be a red carpet stylist first-and-foremost, but he cuts a mean pair of high-waisted pants.

The conventions of typical runway collections, which tend to be organized by fabric, color, cut, and fit, daywear yielding to after-dark clothes, season after season, can hem in a designer. So can the pressures of retailers to deliver at a regular cadence. This restart from Rembert—its freedom and its precision—holds a lot of promise.

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