One gets the impression that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are acutely aware that even after nearly three years of quietly exceeding expectations with The Row, there are those industry people who still consider them a novelty act. Thus, their first show, at an intimate west side art gallery, seemed carefully conceived as the anticelebrity fashion event. It was a serious, sophisticated setting for serious, sophisticated clothes. They kept it modest with 20 mostly black looks, all shown with gladiator sandals, that were striking in their simplicity. Elegant staples, such as finely tailored silk trousers and buttoned-up shirts, were filled in with more luxe items, such as a precise, long-sleeve leather shirt and a blue python skirt. A wrap wool coat worn with a brown leather belt had a strong line and understated volume. It was classic with a subversive undercurrent. For example, the austere silk dresses cut with asymmetric hems and layered under matching corsets reflected a vaguely Japanese sensibility that the Olsens have favored in their own lives lately.

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