Elegant and inspired, Anthony Rubio’s Fall/Winter 2016 New York Fashion Week runway show was a triumph, pushing the designer to new and greater heights! His were truly the most beautiful dogs of fashion week, but the pup’s accessory models, as Anthony likes to call the humans, were so impressively dressed, I am excited I got to experience it all, and want to share these dazzling designs with you!
Who is Anthony Rubio?
If you haven’t been reading the 5-week Bark & Swagger series from Anthony called Just My Style, and you’re not connected to the world of haute couture dog fashion, you may not know Anthony Rubio. He is a pet couturier, a prolific, extraordinarily creative fashion designer who studied his craft at F.I.T. (the Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York and chose the path of designing for pets.
Anthony has clients from all over the world, who seek him out for his jewel-encrusted, bright-colored, statement pieces. With this, his second New York Fashion Week runway show presentation, Rubio has, in my opinion, taken his designing to another level. He is clearly more aligned with the European designers that inspire him, and there’s a reason. Read on to find out what the catalyst was for this brilliant collection!
Experience other cultures and be inspired!
Travel can be incredibly inspirational for a designer. Whether it’s an exotic locale like Morocco, or a classic one like England, France or Italy, designers throughout the ages have found inspiration in the colors, textures and lighting of a culture’s architecture, textiles, art and more.
For Anthony, it was the time he spent last year in Italy that informed this show, in everything from the rich, deep colors of his fabrics to the way he layered or embellished them to achieve his vision, one he describes as Italian Baroque.
“On my recent trip to Italy, I had the privilege of a private viewing of the works of artists like Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Raphael, Dosso Dossi and Jacopo Bassano at Galleria Borghese,” Rubio shared. “I was, at first, taken by the rooms and the elaborate decor and the richness of color. The paintings drew me in to get a closer look and study of depth and contrasts. I noticed so much darkness surrounding the saturated colors. This was what inspired the choice of colors for my collection.”
I asked Anthony how the particular fabrics he chose, reflected this theme.
“At first, I chose textiles in colors that had just the right sheen and texture as I was going for, but that was still not enough,” Anthony explained. “There was something more that needed to be done to bring the depth to the forefront. I studied the art work, and when shopping for the fabrics, I came to realize that I was not bringing in enough of the darkness. I had a moment of enlightenment, realizing that to capture that depth, I would have to layer the fabrics. I chose to layer dark sheer netting over the bright saturated fabric, in this case shantung, and it worked beautifully. To add that final touch I was looking for, I chose to use glass beaded netting. The bead work is in rich jewel tones of deep crimson red, emerald greens, amber, gold and deep blue.” Stunning!
The Piece De Resistance…
The final design that comes down the runway is a very important piece, indeed. It’s meant to tie the show together for the viewer and leave them wow’ed. The dress Anthony chose was just breathtaking. Its skirting was so voluminous and intricate, the color so wonderful, I wanted to know what fabrics and embellishments he used to achieve this incredible effect.
“As a designer, I knew that I had to leave my audience with a lasting impression,” Rubio declared. “The last piece had to bring that Wow factor. I chose to do a huge, over-sized ball gown with a contemporary feel. I wanted to recapture that old fashioned way of closing a show with a wedding gown, but at the same time, I did not want it to be an actual wedding gown. I must confess, I really wanted to do this closing piece in a rich red, but after shopping for fabrics and trying red, it started to look too much like Christmas. It’s funny, because the show was unexpectedly moved up to February 14th, Valentine’s Day, from the original 17th, and perhaps that red might have been better received, but I stumbled upon this rich navy blue, sequined, sheer fabric, which has metallic gold embroidery. I knew right away this would be the show stopper.
“To achieve the depth and volume, I used layers of navy organza, which was also used for the train. I created a simple, three quarter sleeved top with a scooped neckline, and attached an applique I made from the same sequined fabric on the skirt. That made the entire look more contemporary and less stiff. The end result was that magical gown, which stole everyone’s breath away as it seemed to glide down the runway. [My Chihuahua model] Bogie wore a robe of many rich colors, which I decorated with tiny metallic autumn leaves. The collar of the robe was jeweled in crystals and amber.”
Who was Anthony’s special canine guest?
If the human models were dressed so elaborately, the dog, who Anthony always calls the stars of his runways, were certainly no slouches. I asked Anthony if there was an especially challenging dog outfit he created in this collection.
“In this show, I had a very special canine guest,” Rubio divulged. “You may recognize him. He was rescued by Bideawee and went on to became the poster dog for their adoption campaign, including a huge billboard in Times Square. He was ultimately adopted by a wonderful gentleman, Todd B. Richter, who donates to Bideawee.
“For Henry, I created a vest of putty-colored ultra suede, to which I attached a very opulent layer of black sheer netting encrusted with vines and flowers of metallic gold, black jet beads and white crystals. His accessory model, Nicole, wore a fabulous dress, which featured a mustard yellow skirt, covered with the same sheer jeweled fabric as the one on Henry’s vest.” It was so beautiful and I couldn’t help myself from oo’ing and ah’ing, but I wanted to know how regular pet parents could incorporate such opulence into their dog’s wardrobe.
“All of the garments, though opulent, can be used for various occasions,” Anthony explained. “There are so many dog friendly functions, as well as weddings. I attend fundraisers for shelters and I dress up my boys in elaborate outfits like these to make that grand entrance.” And you, do, Anthony, my darling…you do! We look forward to seeing what you’re going to dress those boys in next!
Now, more of the runway!
What are Naughty Ties and how do they fit in here?
Speaking earlier of what’s next, Anthony is doing so many things right now, including a new men’s shirting line and his Naughty Ties, an embellished and whimsical tie collection for humans. Would this fertile time of inspiration and vision give birth to other things for these fabrics and this palette?
“Oh, you are so intuitive!” Rubio exclaimed. “Yes, I have started the new Naughty Ties, using some of the same fabrics, as well as colors. I am thinking I’ll create other men’s accessories, as well, to match the pups.”
Ladies, alert your stylish guys and guy friends and consider for yourselves. I love a woman in a smart tie! Fashion lovers…Anthony Rubio is in the house!
After a very long day, a tired but happy Rubio at the afterparty with Kimba, both still in their runway attire. Bravo, Anthony!!
Hear more from Anthony Rubio in my exclusive post-fashion show radio interview on my YouTube channel! Please Subscribe for more interviews and other stylish stuff! 🙂
For more information on Anthony Rubio Designs.
If you like what you’ve seen and want more, subscribe to our email list and become a part of the Bark & Swagger Family!