Among contemporary labels, Elie Tahari tends toward an aesthetic of sleek tailoring suited for a business casual environment. You turn to him to find affordable, tweaked classics, not trend-driven fast fashion. His latest collection took its cues from the Garden of Eden — with elements of florals, feathers, fur and leopard, all-inclusive. The resulting visual punch of mixed prints and media was a tougher-than-usual sell.
After a walk-through at the showroom without the designer, Tahari emerged briefly to give a short statement: “The most important thing is truth and the truth is that no one can come close to this collection.”
That bold opinion is likely rooted in the eclectic yet disorienting range the collection had to offer. There were groupings of feather and fur embellishments, jewel-tone velvets, leopard prints, cold-weather puffers, fringy holiday dresses and hardware-adorned biker jackets, without much of a connective thread. Plays on contrasting texture and a wide-ranging color palette didn’t help. Elements of the theme were seen as 3-D faux-fur floral patches on outerwear, floral printed velvets and snakeskin-floral combinations on button-down shirts and dresses.
Individually, there were highlights, like the ring-adorned fur coats, the aqua grouping of velvet and chic tailored outerwear, like a navy coat paired with tailored pants with contrasting trim; as a whole, the collection could have used an edit. A focus on those respective groupings and an expansion of the cool velvet puffers as a lifestyle category would have sufficed.