Another season, another round of rumors with which Stefano Pilati must contend. The show goes on regardless of the encircling gossip whirl, and on Tuesday evening, Pilati had a spring collection to stage.
In some respects, it was lovely, with elements of strength and lyricism, its essence rooted not in storyboard shtick but in ideas about cut, color and the essential updating of a revered and highly recognizable code. Pilati started as basically as possible: with the weather. He began his research in chilly times and just couldn’t get into an easy-breezy mind-set. He started thinking about wintry colors for spring, ultimately incorporating rich jewel tones into his palette, and then about his fabrics, feeling for the decorative but not wanting to be mundane. Pilati thus built the collection around two primary fabrics, a tonal, textured jacquard with the look of sturdy lace and a gazarlike fabric called, coincidentally, Marrakesh. These determined a structured lineup into which the designer incorporated considerable volume, particularly in jackets that stood away from the body and interesting dresses and tops with big sleeves seamed intricately for a billow effect in back. Often these played against slim skirts cut with sexy godets. There were also lean pants and shorts fully pleated in front. Though much of it felt quite chic, one came away wanting more of something, whether of the conviction of message that makes for the strongest collections or merely of plain old oomph.
Not so for evening, which went two engaging ways — Bohemian casual with pairings of white tops and long skirts in an exotic print Pilati drew himself and high glam with a pair of crystal-embroidered black gowns.