“Art for fashion’s sake” was the spring theme at JC de Castelbajac. That idea is always at the heart of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s design ethos in some variation, and with arty references having a moment this season, the designer’s lineup was more au courant than usual.

He reined in his proclivity for whimsy while still punctuating the clothes with the amusing touches for which he’s known. A standout was a painted “kiss-and-tell” motif on a white A-line skirt shown with a gold lamé polo shirt; an arm and hand across a hemp dress had a striking trompe l’oeil effect that is sure to trigger conversation.

Throughout the show, a video backdrop featured the designer in action, hand-painting pieces of fabric. The final look — a white gown bedecked with a drawing of a face and red, green and blue graffiti — made the art-meets-fashion point with graphic impact.

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