With the endless proliferation of established designers and familiar labels it can be easy to forget that fashion exists outside the realm of Marcs, Ralphs and Giorgios. Smaller labels represent the future of design talent and on occasion, a wealth of previously unconsidered ideas.
Raised in the Dominican Republic and trained under the tutelage of Helmut Lang, designer Joel Diaz is not new to the fashion scene. His fledgling line Jolibe, is a relatively new entity beginning with an upstart Fall 07 collection. There is a sense of modernity that runs through the entire line – the clothes hit all the right notes for right now. Touches like abstract draping and origami folds give the line an artistic edge – separating the easy pieces from anything else on the scene.
For Spring (JOLIBE S/S 09 VIDEO | SLIDESHOW ) Diaz plays with transparency, taking standards like the little black dress and cutting them down to bare bones versions of themselves. Skin peaks out beneath sheer insets and overlays giving just a taste. There is a sharp and architectural feel to many of the pieces. The lines are precise and sharp, creating forms that are out of the ordinary. Lang’s influence can be felt in the minimal monochrome dresses but Diaz brings his own outlook with the frothy watercolor cocktail sheaths. The dresses are a wonderfully original take on the art of going out – while they aren’t exactly futuristic they certainly aren’t passe either – they’re completely in the moment. With each season Diaz has refined his aesthetic to the point where it is becoming signature. And with Jolibe popping up on red carpets and within magazines it’s certainly a label to keep a watchful eye on.