Zac Posen on Why Empowering and Sexy Are Better Together

The designer’s Resort 2019 collection is filled with red-carpet stunners and playful polka dots

Zac Posen’s Resort 2019 collection is filled with the kind of romantic, glamorous, camera-ready looks that the designer does so well. Take, for instance, the high-low gown actress Nina Dobrev wore to Monday night’s CFDA Awards. She was all smiles and twirls while donning the midnight-blue stunner. And you can bet the season’s optical-illusion tulle fantasies, vector-pleat column, and textured fuschia-and-red gown, whose draped sleeves envelop the model like elegant armor, will be coming soon to a red carpet near you. These pieces exuded a sense of power, pride, and femininity. And yes, while their sculpted bodices and strapless necklines were definitively va-va-voom, there was a strength to their sexiness. “All of our clothing, even when it goes sexy or modern vamp, has always been about an empowered woman,” Posen said during a preview of the collection at his Midtown studio. “It’s never about objectifying—it’s always about the person wearing the clothing bringing power to the outfit. That’s ingrained in me from how I’ve been raised.”

This outing was playful too—because isn’t that what Resort should be? Posen took subtle cues from the ’80s with draped polka-dot silk and high-volume sleeves. A flirty cream dress in faille comes covered in navy and steel blue polka dots. As the lookbook model skipped through the showroom wearing it, she flashed a smile and told me she was having fun. How could she not? Elsewhere, there are flouncy cotton frocks with filigreed sleeves, cropped, wide-legged trousers with those same polka dots, and little Jackie O dresses with matching jackets. Posen also offered up some evening separates—a category, he says, has been doing very well for the brand, particularly at trunk shows. Creased black brocade trousers with metallic pink floral motifs, paired with a black satin blouse with dramatic sleeves, will certainly appeal to the ZP woman looking for an easeful evening option.

Speaking of fun, Posen had a particularly good time at the Met Gala last month. “My date, Imaan Hammam, was sensational. It wasn’t the obvious over-the-top look because I wanted to be respectful of religion,” Posen said of the custom black gown and dramatic opera coat he made for the model. “The team that worked with the Met from the Vatican loved it, and they invited me to go to Rome. And they’re big House of Z fans!” the designer said. Though he might have to put off that trip for a bit—when asked what he was up to this summer, Posen replied, “Working.” No rest for the weary.



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