In lieu of a studio visit, Isabelle Manhes and Sophie Massun of Manhes & Massun invited us for a private viewing of fall 2010 at home last week. The house itself is an absolute masterpiece shattered with art deco fixtures, stained glass windows, Mexican artifacts and the wondrous paintings of Manhes’ other half, artist Mauricio Limón. Small wonder then that this beautiful mansion was the inspiration for their newest collection, a hidden treasure of a building nestled on an otherwise unremarkable tree-lined street in Mexico City. Manhes is half-Mexican, half-Hungarian and Massun is half-Mexican, half-French, so their influences speak to that cultural mishmash. While spring 2009 gave a folkoric mod to Frida Kahlo, the new fall clothes are a wardrobe the painter might have packed for a trip to 1930s Paris.
Massun was lovely enough to model some of her favorite looks from next season, including paneled dresses that echo the geometric tiling in the floors and ceilings. The duo often use colorblocking to heighten silhouettes, and fall’s monochrome drama had a soft sepia-toned layer over it. After the impromptu fashion show, Massun pulled out a special collection of shoes that had been created for spring 2010, all curvy heels and eye-popping color. With the garden in full bloom, the inspiration for that, was clearly sitting right on their doorstep.