Always one to happily work a contemporary art theme, Cynthia Rowley’s cues ranged from Rachel Feinstein’s carriages to Josephine Meckseper’s oil rig installation, but the inspiration she cited in her show notes of “tough stuff vs. jewels” probably best described the season. Rowley started out with variations on a tortoise print, some of which were almost literal while others were magnified and abstracted, including a skirt teamed with a leather top or a dress that featured a kaleidoscope-like combination of different shell motifs. Her silhouettes had a strictness to them, but she managed to counter that with clusters of semi-precious stones and large iridescent sequins on several looks, which added to the collection’s overall polished feel.

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