It felt like a cocktail party — albeit one centered around a U-shaped, black Plexiglass runway, which made perfect sense. Because these days, Josie Natori is very much a lady of the evening, sartorially speaking. While presenting her Josie Natori Eveningwear collection, which she launched for resort, she mingled with her audience, a workable mix of press and friends who sipped Champagne and chatted as the models paraded by.
Natori loves an Asian reference. Here, she looked to ancient Chinese art, its influence apparent in the abundance of brushstroke prints and plum-blossom embroideries. These were beautiful, if very specific, in bold kimono constructions rendered quite literally. Yet Natori is nothing if not savvy. Lest her Asia Major approach cross into overkill, she pulled back — far back — into Asia Minor with simpler, more ecumenical silhouettes done up with hints of exotica in embroideries and passementerie. Cases in point: a navy glamour column with cord-edged open work; a pristine white A-line dress with black beaded border; a sexy fuchsia mini over skinny pants.
She accessorized with artisanal jewelry that referenced the natural world. While hammered-metal earrings and cuffs rendered as flowers and what looked like slices of bark were lovely, the best piece didn’t make the show. Adorning her basic black, Natori wore an open collar of sculptural metal leaves that cascaded down her shoulders. In the runway-to-reality journey, Natori merely truncated the trip.