Perry Ellis: Patrick Robinson got it exactly right at Perry Ellis. In his second collection for the rejuvenated label, he again eschewed the traditional runway, instead lining up 25 of the freshest-faced girls imaginable, their cheeks aglow with youth and the delightful work of Dick Page. The presentation provided the perfect vehicle to flaunt Robinson’s two-pronged message: Here is a wealth of appealing, seemingly eclectic pieces, all wrapped up in a highly focused aura of charm. Clearly, Robinson has sought to distinguish the Ellis presence within the better department by making it girlier and more prone to eccentricity than virtually any of its competitors. For fall, that means a retro, Fifties-centric attitude. “There’s a playfulness, but there’s also a refinement and a new elegance to it,” he said while taking visitors through the presentation. “I want to deliver a lot of fashion to the area— more than that customer is used to.”
To wit, these gems stand out from their typically sportier competition: egg-shaped coats that could go Lucy-Ethel or full-on Marilyn depending upon a girl’s mood, sweaters set with jeweled buttons, skirts cut with debutant froth or Gal Friday discretion, impressive fake furs — coats, stoles, and even a cozy muff or two. The girly factor radiated from virtually every look, as Robinson accessorized with skinny rhinestone belts and lots of vintage sparkle — a flower brooch, anyone? — culled from countless eBay meanderings. As for another online find, a Perry Ellis printed scarf, Robinson had it recolored and reproduced to use discreetly, in a breezy skirt and as linings for coats and jackets — the perfect way to express the Ellis legacy on his own terms.
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