Ava Hama and Nolan Bellavance are living out any fashion student’s dream. Upon graduating from Parsons, the latter’s thesis collection earned him the MADE for Peroni Young Designer Award, enabling him and schoolmate Hama to launch their label, Bellavance. They’ve been finding their footing over the past year (not to mention juggling all the Italian mills and manufacturers that came with the Peroni sponsorship their debut season), and things are beginning to take hold with Fall ’14. “It’s really about refocusing our DNA and putting our hand into it,” the duo said at a preview, adding that it was their first time working exclusively with New York-based factories.
Bellavance has steadily gained a following (Opening Ceremony has carried the line from the start, and Kate Foley styled the new lookbook) for its directional yet wearable takes on classic American sportswear. The latest lineup had an antiestablishment current. (Bellavance had reportedly been reading some light Foucault over the summer.) Indeed, there was a “mix of restraint and playfulness” here, as Hama put it, with a range of cool pieces such as surplus jackets and cargo culottes cut from raw twill or indigo. Also on offer were pretty dresses featuring allover pleating. (Some were printed with a chain-link pattern done in collaboration with illustrator Sonya Dissin.) Body-contouring, engineered knits, and graphic lace separates rounded out the collection that successfully showcased Bellavance’s promising vision.