2010 September 11
Runway Reviews: Alexander Berardi, Verrier, Tadashi Shoji, Duckie Brown
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(NEW YORK) ALEXANDER BERARDI
24-year old Upper Ease Sider Alexander Berardi presented a cohesive collection with a nautical, summery theme and plenty of khaki, gold, navy and white. Tanned, lean models made us wish Labor Day hadn’t just passed: the Bee sway top (a nod to friend Bee Shaffer, perhaps?) was stripes of light white silk grounded by the khaki pants decked out with large rectangular pockets for sea-shell hunting. Everything was both practical and beautiful, and Alexander seems to have found his niche: several trench coats floated down the runway, re-done with a flared and pleated full skirt or a glimpse of sequin paneling in the back. Should we pray for rain?
Imagine being invited to Scott and Zelda’s East egg manse and playing cricket on the lawn while sipping champers. Yes, this was the glamorous lifestyle evoked in Ashleigh Verrier’s ultra-feminine and glamorous Gatsby-esque collection. The outdoor garden courtyard in Lincoln Center was the perfect evening setting to display her 1920s inspiration. Soft drop-waisted long dresses were adorned with soft ruffles at the shoulder, tulle skirts were paired with pintucked or lace embellished silk blouses, and shift dresses with lace overlays were topped off with wide brimmed hats. Delicate patterns such as Wedgewood floral prints and dainty English tea roses complemented the soft chiffons and chintz that she used. With each successive season, Ashleigh’s collections have evolved to show her signature style of combining her love of vintage with a modern sensibility amongst a striking color palatte.
Tadashi Shoji's soft and romantic silhouettes were based on a powdery palette with shades of sand, sea foam, and pearl grey with beautiful detailing such as tonal soutache and chiffon rosettes to give these diaphanous fabrics more body and texture. A true master at flattering the female figure, Spring 2011 took a new, more subtle direction of delicate marbled chiffons, silk organzas, lace overlays, and nude pailettes that used bias cuts, soft ruching, and asymmetrical necklines to fall naturally and enhance any women’s stature. A highlight of the collection was the hammered nude silk crepe gown with mosaic detail. As every woman wants to channel her inner goddess, expect to see his gowns floating down the red carpet.
The DB man loves the mish-mash. The show started with more neutral pieces, like sheer nude tanks layered over ankle-cuffed pants, and ended with a Chanel-esque dark pink tweed jacket. The in-between was neon jersey harem pants, an animal print motorcycle jacket, and blue camouflage pants. The presentation a within a show allowed the audience more time to reflect on the stylish Florsheim by Duckie Brown desert boots---expect these to sell.