Tocca: The pretty little Tocca lady returned from her spring sojourn in Italy only to swing through London’s colorful Sixties for fall. And designer Ellis Kreuger was more than happy to send her off on the trip with the right gear for traipsing around Carnaby and Bond Streets. He did kicky skirts, a stream of Empire-waisted frocks and great crocheted sweaters à la Marianne Faithfull, all with the charming prints and cute baubles he favors. And because this is London, there had to be an Indian reference — oh, how those Brits love a good dash of spice in their curry and, in this case, their clothes. Kreuger trimmed several billowy short dresses and skirts with zardozi work, the traditional heavy metal and bead details. There was a spring in his step, since some of the prettiest colors — bright pinks and greens — felt more May than October.
Pierrot: Before his show, Pierrot designer Pierre Carrilero was smoking a cigarette outside his venue, the Bar Association of New York. It was the perfect chance to ask him why he was absent from last season’s runways. He explained that he knew in advance that retailers, except for Barneys New York, weren’t planning to buy his knits for spring so he didn’t want to invest in a production. Fall is a different story, though, and delightfully so. Inside, he answered another question: How many ways can you do a knit? Well, let’s see. There are sweaters, hoodies, muffs, balaclavas, capes, handbags, berets, shorts, leg warmers, gloves and mittens — sometimes all matching and packed into one look. Carrilero is at his best when channeling his cheeky charm, and this season, that meant a winning après-ski group as well as some of the body-hugging, beret-topped French chic looks that are perennial favorites. And the handful of skull-printed, Armageddon-themed pieces somehow proved equally charming.
George Simonton Luxe: George Simonton may just be the hardest-working man on Seventh Avenue. A professor at FIT for the past 20 years, Simonton currently designs three collections: the moderate Michael DeGray by George Simonton, Simonton Says for QVC and George Simonton Luxe. The luxe collection presented on Thursday featured looks perfect for Simonton’s core clientele, whose members include Laura Bush and Katie Couric, such as a cozy cashmere suit with a zip front jacket. But — as those QVC announcers might say — Hold on! Simonton also sent out younger pieces that would work for the Bush twins. He worked beige wool laced with Lurex into a sharp pencil skirt and capelet, while a gray silk mini-houndstooth was done up à la the Fifties in a fitted jacket and bow-trimmed circle skirt. Talk about mother-daughter dressing.
Sari Gueron: Sari Gueron has made her aesthetic philosophy quite clear with her second collection — using a light hand yields maximum chic. In 14 looks, set up in a serene tableau vivant, she worked the ladylike uniform — blouses, skirts and evening frocks — with a sophisticated minimal motif in a sober palette of navy, black and peach. But no, this wasn’t a spare redux of the late Nineties. Instead, Gueron chose quiet details to accentuate, not dominate, her pieces. She trimmed a cropped jacket with small, soft ruffles, for example, and sewed subtle pleats into a dress’s deep U-neckline. Even when she brightened two dresses with gold-flecked lace, the effect was more charming than glitzy. And they were certainly perfect for the social obligations of a busy fall season.