Against the soaring corrugated-wood walls of Cary Hall in the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen showed a breathtaking collection for The Row, one that dripped with adult elegance. “It’s grounded,” Mary-Kate said. Perhaps so, if in one of those fashion oxymorons something so mesmerizing can be grounded as well. In contrast to fall, which was piled-on darkness with a comic streak, this featured detailed tailoring played against gentle lines for a fusion of ethereal calm and clinical strength. Infiltrating the palette of various whites, the only hints of color were the pale blue overlays and a watery jellyfish print on silk pajamas.
Most fabrics were ultralight — chiffons, linens, languid silks — with the essential weight coming in a few stiffer materials such as the gazar used for the show-closing (and showstopping) caftan, smartly shaped in front; and macramé trims and dense encrustations of opalescent buttons and shells, inspired by the work of artist Nick Cave, whose Seattle show the designers saw last spring. Perhaps more than anything, it was this rendering that showed their maturity, as they embraced his message of protection and use of found objects, but not a bit of his flamboyance, delivering instead a statement of the chicest kind of comfort.