Taking the essence of romantic Victorian drama and then turning upside down for a sexy leather story, Catherine Malandrino displayed some serious silhouettes, mixed up with flirty sporty-wear, for Spring ’13. But the spotlight belongs to her gorgeous cutout technique, displayed through a mishmash of stretch-cotton jacquard, suede, and stretch-leather. Holey power mesh has never looked so decadent; it’s geometric yet seriously feminine. Most of the French cotton guipure looks are pure. I’m talking white, white, and more white, which doesn’t exactly make for a wearable wardrobe. Splashes of watercolor pastels (frosty aqua, powder-pink, and mint-green) were a welcome addition – I wish there was more color. The best piece, hands-down: the column dress with an extreme-high slit in a shade called “cielo,” which looks like nothing else in collection.
While Malandrino went new-Edwardian, Tracy Reese’s Spring character is in total vacation mode. Juicy citrus tones amp up the energy, but they lose their power when they’re executed in too many busy tribal prints, save for a leopard-print trench I would totally wear. Strip the embellished and vivacious patterns down a bit, though, and you’ve got a peppy, perky holiday suitcase-worth of airy outfits with just the right amount of sheerness. Reese shines when it comes to solid pieces; a flowing, deep-V dress in pearlescent white will have you glimmering on a starlit beach, while other bright minis capture that sought-after relaxed and resort-y vibe. Toss a beaded tank or two into your bag, and you’re ready to jet-set.
It was Timo Weiland who pulled off the best show of the evening. Naturally, I loved the element of boys in the show, although they did pose as a bit of a distraction. Not just because they were so cute, but the skateboarder looks felt incongruous with the ladies’. Perhaps that was the point – and at least these are clothes made for regular men. Even my husband can pull off all their menswear! Besides, it was impossible really detract from the power-house feminine looks. One stunner particularly stood out from the rest: the pairing of a crop top (a big trend for Spring) of green and blue Swarovski crystals with a billowing duchess satin skirt stole the show. Evening gowns? Who needs them! There’s a new red-carpet winner in town.