Just like the Grateful Dead, tie-dyeing is eternal, especially at MoMo Falana. Husband-and-wife team Maureen Roberts and Michael Lublin have perfected the craft, displayed this time in romantic Victorian blouses and fitted blazers. They showed in hippie style in their East Village store, with models prancing about the room, dancing on tables or lounging on satin pillows.
Brit Keanan Duffty wore his heritage on his sleeves, or rather, his models’ sleeves. The designer sent out such U.K. classics as tartans and military coats, all laced with a punk aesthetic. With typical cheekiness, he printed his whimsical signature unicorn motif on the back of sweaters. It was, however, a concise, surprisingly wearable collection, best illustrated by his red velvet riding coat, black mohair spiderweb sash, white T-shirt and boxy cropped jeans. Although the quirky Liberty-print blouses added a nice touch, the bondage-strap pants seemed overplayed.
Also making a bold statement was Peter Som, whose ideal woman is obviously a strong, well-dressed one who’s not afraid to play rough. He sent out ladylike looks — slim-fitted tailored suits, flowing chiffon evening gowns, both in a darker palette of gray, navy and black. To these he added such edgy, sometimes s&m-ish details as a harness or belts attached to square wooden plates. And there were also plenty of leather details on the georgette tops, while pointelle sweaters topped leather-trimmed skirts. At times, though, the bondage motif was too, well, overwhelming. Mark Kroeker, on the other hand, was more refined. For fall, sexy sophistication was the aim and his double-faced wool crepe suits, hot mid-calf skirts and ruched-knee pants were on the mark. Also notable were a floral silk dress with black tulle overlay, a leather funnel-neck jacket and a pleated tulle dress.
In contrast, Built by Wendy designer Wendy Mullins continued her nerd-chic theme this season with a collection inspired by her “junior high days when my stoner neighbor invited me to a Neil Young concert,” as her show notes put it. The collection included preppy ruffled plaid blouses with cabled vests, paisley tops and dresses printed with Neil Young’s sheet music — all set to a 1981 soundtrack.
Finally, there was the debut collection of Caitie et Marcs, from the design duo Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddaway (owners of the hip emporium Resurrection). They served up a film noir-inspired show with the models styled a la Sally Bowles — pale faces, red lipstick and black bobbed wigs. The lineup was a great mix of wide-legged wool pants, solid or pinstriped, worn with a matching jacket or with sexy vests. A series of sleek black cashmere or wool coats topped everything off. The best in show, though, was the strapless ivory brushed denim dress with dangling strips of fabric form the front.