Les Radiants: Darkness & Light; Chaos & Classics
Design duo Anna Rose Shaheen and Anthony Cucculelli are relatively new on the NYFW scene even having fourteen collections to their name & their designs frequently selected for celebrity red carpet appearances. Their first runway show took place last season, for SS23 in the Bowery Hotel. Summery colors of serpent green, and ombre purple as well as their signature look of intricate detail, masterful beading & tailoring and sexy sheer evening wear were beautifully presented. Models strode down the runway where the garments not only engaged the senses visually, but the sound of the beading was noticeably present. The weight and quality of the detailing allowed for guests to hear the garment/model in some cases, before they saw her, adding a richness to the eveningwear.
Their second runway show (first CFDA calendar official) for FW23 saw the brand go to a higher level. The historic live music venue of Webster Hall was the site selected for the runway show, setting the stage for an edgier show with a lot more energy. The band Breanna Barbara performed onstage during the runway show, withlead singer performing in a Cuculelli Shaheen black set with long silver beaded fringe. Models strode through the seated audience in floor length looks from dresses, to trouser/top sets, and dramatic overcoats.
In comparison to the previous season, the only color present outside of neutrals, metallics, black and white, was a vibrant crimson. While some of the designs did blend together given the limited color palette, it did make some of the more exceptional designs, especially stand out. The casting game for the designer duo has always been strong & inclusive, with this season’s most dramatic look, complete with a sun headdress, worn by Jaida Essence Hall, the winner of Drag Race S12. While there were some necklines that were less flattering to the female figure, the collection was a radiant success.
On the venue and production of the show at Webster Hall:
“Webster Hall is a beautiful space with a rich history, but also modern as well, and then a friend of Anthony’s connected us with Breanna Barbara, who is performing live for the show, and we thought it was the perfect combination of all the things we love” – Anna Roose Shaheen
“We love rock and roll and it’s (Breanna Barbara) a mix of blues, western, psychedelic and wehn we heard her music it just hit. We loved it, it felt right, and I think Anna nad I have learned to incorporate the things that we love. Webster Hall, we walk past this place every day on our morning walk, and seeing it and dreaming about it, I’ve always dreamed of playing here. I’m an amateur musician, so.. If I cant play here, I thought, let’s do a fashion show here.” – Anthony Cucculleli
Color Palette & Structure of the Collection
“We were inspired by Caravaggio and Rembrandt and the location has very bright lights, so we went with lots of blacks, silvers, platinum, golds, and pops of red, which is our favorite color of the season, and a little bit of blushy tones as well” Anna Rose Shaheen
“Red has always been our color, I mean, she is Anna Rose, it’s always that color of passion, and we haven’t gone deep with red, and it was nice to do that this season” – Anthony Cucculleli
“We have tailoring again this season, we are doing more of the loose fit, some low slung trousers, low slung skirts, and a maxi skirt which i really love, and floor length coats.” – Anna Rose Shaheen
“Each season we want to add a category, so adding the long cashmere coats felt natural” – Anthony Cucculleli
Themes & Inspiration for this Collection
“Each season we try to have a symbol, we are always inspired by mythology and we always like to pull one thing, adn this season it is the sun. We do stars, snakes, and suns, and technically a star is a sun, but we like having one element in there that gets the whole vibe” – Anthony Cucculelli
“We were really inspired by Chirstopher Bucklow, who is a beautiful artist, and he works with photographic paper, but not using a camera… he will put thousands of pinholes into the paper, turn them into silhouettes, and puts them in the sun. The finished image looks like a person all lit up inside by millions of little lights.” – Anna Rose Shaheen
“There’s a story I read.. So a photon is created int eh center of the sun and it takes one hundred million years for it to exit because it is so densely populated but then takes one minute to reach the earth, so the idea of the travel of light, and the light that is hitting you was created 100 million years ago, there is this sense of radiance and bright light” – Anthony Cucculelli
“We are super excited, and thrilled to be on the calendar, it’s been a dream of ours since we started in the industry twenty years ago, so seeing our names on the calendar was a huge moment and we plan to be on the calendar again. Every season is very organic, as is the space we show in, and last season Bowery felt more like a jewel box introducing the brand, and this season it was very big, bold ,and emotional in a different way.” – Anna Rose Shaheen
Floor length coats, light & sheer metallics, tailored sets, symbolic motifs
Photography: Margarita Broadwater @margo_newyorkphoto
Words by Mariele Marki
Photo Selection: Victoria Bruno
Location: Webster Hall – PR Firm: PURPLE PR
Designer: Anthony Cucculelli and Anna Rose Shaheen
Music: Breanna Barbara