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LOOKBOOK  |  SPRING 2022

Meruert Tolegen - Spring | Summer 2022
Creative Director: Meruert Tolegen | Photographed by: Anastasiia Duvallie | Art Director & Styling: Sunzhique | models: Nym, Irene, Helga | Hair Makeup: Mitch Yoshida | Assistant: Loulu Shafran

SPRING 2022 - Press Release

New York, September 9, 2021: History doesn't always repeat itself, but sometimes it can be reimagined. On September 9 and 10th New York-based founder, creative director, and Kazakhstan native Meruert Tolegen makes her NYFW debut presentation in a Tribeca gallery inviting press, retailers, and in uencers to discover her unique aesthetic. For Spring 2022, the collection re-examines codes from another era, blending them with childhood recollections of nature. Voluminous, full shapes de ne the sculptural look with an emphasis on the neckline. Proportion is rede ned through a smaller bodice-to-skirt ratio. Fabric manipulation takes center stage, exploring textures and layers to create a unique garment structure and innovating textiles without diminishing their true essence. A contemporary color palette adds richness to the pieces. "I embraced volumes working on this collection and saw the clothes to be airy and shapely," says Tolegen of her sophomore collection.

Silhouettes borrow from classic garments worn in the European court life of the 18th and 19th centuries, often realized with oral and botanical motifs. Classic Leg of Mutton sleeves are modernized on roomy and shapely silhouettes that borrow handcrafted details typical of the 1700s and 1800s. A detail of lace on a yolk or sensual eyelet bloomers peeking out of a tiered bustier dress recall antique handwork styles. Throughout these feminine designs is a counterbalance of mascu- linity lest it appears saccharine. This handicraft also draws upon Tolegen's rich Kazakhstan heritage by recalling traditional embroidered vests and quilted dresses.

The creative director worked with a French mill known primarily for embroidered materials, but sourcing base fabrics proved challenging during the pandemic. Comfortable with the feel of the mill's textiles, she also acquired plain fabrics from the French house. The delicate materials were amalgamations of several fabrics. For instance, quilted fabric is created using cotton mousseline, a buttery poly organdy, another layer of cotton with batting, and nished with oral embroidery. Another used a oral liseré stripe embroidered onto cotton for a wallpaper e ect which was then pleated. A ocked lace with oral embroidery was fused with silk satin. "As my brand develops, I am eager to explore fabric manipulation and detail construction even further."

The mill holds decades' worth of European loom textiles often relegated as deadstock or destined to the bin. Tolegen sourced these remnants and breathed new life into overlooked pieces giving them a fresh perspective. The designer engages in various sustainability practices such as fabric up-cycling, dead stock, repurposing, using cutting waste, and sourcing local production in New York City's Garment District, contributing to human sustainability by keeping manufacturing local.

Currently, the 25-piece collection will be available on meruert-tolegen.com. For Spring 2022, the brand is expanding with wholesale partners.