Batsheva Hay hosted a sort of theater piece to present her fall collection. While a few women were working at sewing machines, the models, including actress Christina Ricci and musician Melissa Auf der Maur, walked down the stairs of an empty retail location in SoHo after reading small excerpts of love songs at the microphone. They were dressed in frocks and separates that were inspired by “me being taken around the Salvation Army when I was a teenager,” the designer said before the show.
The brand’s signature prairie dresses, cut with high necklines and pouf shoulders trimmed in ruffles, were rendered this season in a range of fabrics — from red velvet and a shiny orange silk taffeta to a cloth printed with images of Holly Hobbie. The same motif also gave a retro, childlike feel to cropped pants with ruffled cuffs, which were matched with a floral top. A blue apron dress revealed a sweet Peter Pan collar, while a rose-shaped application embellished a ruffled frock crafted from a white and green striped cotton. Though the collection was heavy on Hay’s signature dresses, they were juxtaposed by a few separates and an outerwear style, a dark green velvet coat embellished with a leopard collar that seemed like it came straight from a vintage shop.
Hay certainly doesn’t design with all of today’s women in mind, but her puritanical styles are definitely an expression of a very specific and personal creative vision that has its fan base.