The new sensuality, the big reveal, the cling thing — whatever you want to call it, many of the early runway shows at New York Fashion Week are moving in a similar direction with sexy yet refined, sheer and body-skimming silhouettes, lots of black, slits, slashes and shine.
Ulla Johnson, who built her business on prints and puff sleeves, has been feeling it in her own way. Her fall collection, shown against the glinting New York skyline at the Spiral on Hudson, was closer to form, more sensual and piece-y.
“I was really interested in being more reductive, and putting a new, like, emphasis on the body,” she said backstage, noting the lustrous and sheer fabric play.
On the runway, that translated to ladylike angora sweaters or bra tops with satin tulip skirts, crochet knit slips, and billowing, graphic hand-stitched dresses in an autumnal palette of mahogany, emerald, copper and gold. Suede fringe kitten-heel sling backs were key to the look.
“There was a refinement that emerged but done in our way, and with whimsy,” the designer said.
She put an emphasis on soft tailoring, as on a light green suit, and showed glossy leather cargo pants and cinched jackets as a nod to utility dressing. A hand-painted blossom leather shirtdress and coat had the bohemian flair the label is known for, too.
As always, artisanal knitwear was important, with intricate crochet squares, or sheer macramé body skimming dresses of particular note.
And, just in time for her Los Angeles store opening in May, Johnson has a burgeoning gown business. “We have had an incredible reaction to them, so we continued that in beautiful Italian fabrics,” she said of the bouncing, ruffled, off-the-shoulder moire taffeta styles.
Red carpet, here she comes.