After mining his love for New York the past few seasons, designer Elie Tahari decided to take a trip for his pre-fall collection narrative, naming the Polynesian islands as a jump off point.

The vibrant locale and all its bright hues gave Tahari a chance to relax a bit and mix in some youthful energy into his latest offering.

“The system has changed, people want clothes they can wear now,” he explained of the collection of mostly summery daywear pieces. “It’s no longer you buy fall in July, then let it sit in your closet till September. It’s really buy now, wear now,” he said.

Heavy on separates, Tahari dialed up the prints, producing a mix of new silhouettes for the season. There were white shorts with a striped men’s wear fabric wrap top; a black faux leather bottom with a white top with a sheerness to it. Each felt light and breezy and pulled together.

A mix of smocking details throughout the collection zeroed in on the ease of island life and added some mobility to the garments. A jungle print was subtle on a shirtdress, and a floral print dress with a smocked bustier and a box-pleated A-line skirt underscored the collections warm youthful vibe.

This new approach sees him embrace a mix of light breathable summer fabrics, like cottons and linens.

He doesn’t eschew his classics entirely, there are a few cocktail options and some suiting in the mix, but all and all it was nice to see the veteran designer explore a new relaxed story.

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