Kobi Halperin’s latest collection might surprise you. The designer has become known for intricately embroidered feminine blouses with a focus on sleeve treatments — which were strewn throughout the fall lineup — but there was noticeably less embroidery, and more focus on pattern play and unconventional color combinations. There was also emphasis on tailored craft, as in a push for power suiting, which was a welcome surprise to his languid repertoire.
For a man designing women’s clothing, listening to his customers is key. And on the heels of the #MeToo movement, the power behind female voices became more evident than ever. His mind traveled back to Egyptian-Italian singer Dalida, whose voice influenced his youth and exotic flare exposed him to bold sartorial possibilities. He mixed an Arabian aesthetic with his European sensibility to create patterns that gently touched on Dalida’s flamboyance. A yellow floral blouse was strewn with mini gold paillettes, there was pattern play with paisley and jacquards, and unusual color combinations like burgundy and turquoise. But the standouts here took on more structure, like capelets in leather or cashmere, trousers that flared open in front pleats and lustworthy knits with fur accents.