Summer? Pre-fall? DVF’s Jonathan Saunders prefers the former, since the collection ships in May. Whatever the semantics, for his current collection, Saunders was inspired by Antonioni’s 1970 clunker-turned-cult classic, “Zabriskie Point.” But not the dark counterculture storyline; Saunders is at heart an optimistic designer, and the DVF customer, aspirational within the system. Rather, in the film’s steamy desert sand and its surroundings, he found a base palette of earthy neutrals. It had by-level resonance. First, it will work from summer into fall. More importantly, it upped the sophistication level of a brand Saunders sees as having the potential for consumer interest beyond the young professional types typically associated with it. To that end, he incorporated several non-models of various looks and ages into his look book shoot, a concept also reflected in his upcoming spring ad campaign.
Saunders focused on daywear with just a hint of rock-chick glam: the studs. “That kind of a musician-on-the-road thing, not a defined musician,” he said, though he did name-drop Stevie Nicks. “Someone very free-spirited, open-minded.” That translated into graceful, fluid clothes, with an ample showing of the house staple — lovely, flirtatious dresses but also charming jumpsuits and separates.
It all felt very fresh, Saunders slyly daring perspective on view. For example, he kept his patterns classic and unfussy — dots, plaids, paisleys. And he worked with ways to update materials — a striped sweater knitted on the bias; a dress in silk plaited with Lurex. Most compelling: a smocked top and full skirt, the silhouette one the collection’s sweetest. Yet Saunders diluted the sugar by showing the skirt in a bright blue plaid fabric with a papery techno finish. Perfect for the girl who knows that cool and pretty aren’t mutually exclusive.