It’s been a year since creative director Mayte Allende launched Bande Noir, marking the perfect opportunity this season to reflect on the brand’s strengths. Has it been the elegant attire with a dash of novelty that customers have gravitated toward, or a designer aesthetic at a contemporary price point? In either case, Allende is focused on offering polished womanly clothes that transition seasonal trends.
“I think there’s a great opportunity for Bande Noir in the advanced contemporary price point but approaching it in a more elevated way than what’s already out there,” she said during a preview, adding: “I just want something clean but at the same time noticeable. It’s a hard balance to strike, but we hit a chord for fall.”
Indeed, there’s a harmonious blend of flirt with more masculine elements that allows the brand to stand out among its more trend-driven peers. Take, for instance, a velvet jumpsuit lined with denim, cut in a loose and flattering silhouette, or a great open-back shirtdress inspired from a vintage Claude Montana jacket. Shirting, in particular, has been a highlight from the brand’s beginning — interesting enough that it isn’t basic, finished with novelty details — like a sleeveless button-down with shoulder pads, styled with high-waisted evening trousers. Eveningwear, especially, had been treated with a cool factor, like a houndstooth set based on a vintage Mugler jacket with bust-defining seams or a sheer tulle dress she would wear with tailored pants. “If I go to a gala, I want to be the cool girl at a gala and this is what I would wear,” Allende said.