Charles Youssef’s graphic and concise fall collection drew inspiration from Tropicália, a Brazilian art movement staked in bold form amid political strife. It seemed a perfect source given the current political climate and the designer’s inclinations for geometry and origami folds. He interpreted the sculptural steel work of artist Lygia Clark into folds on an angular cocoon coat and black-and-white skirt. Some of the more dramatic geometric statements, like the sharp 3-D triangles on tops and sleeves, veered a bit costume — they were a great concept and showed precise execution, but weren’t the most practical of shapes. He succeeded with more wearable iterations — the stark black-and-white prints, especially on pants with a triangular movement paired with a button-down shirt with bell sleeves; an understated cocktail dress with a triangular-cut hem; or a pair of superangular black trousers that featured pockets within pockets. Youssef is part of the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator program, and it will be exciting to see how this emerging young designer evolves next season.

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