Design duo Kristopher Brock and Laura Vassar took their fall collection in a direction that was true to their brand’s signature romance, but also real — as in, love isn’t all hearts and bows (though there were plenty of those), it’s also raw, down-in-the-mud, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler stuff.

“Every season, we do a lot of romantic evening looks, but we wanted to do more separates, jackets and cardigans and skirts so women can take the romance into their everyday life,” Vassar said backstage, noting that their references ranged from in-the-wild landscape paintings to films like “Gone With the Wind” and “Atonement.”

Signed, sealed and delivered: These were clothes any heroine could appreciate, from a sparkly, raw-edge tweed cardigan-jacket-over-pants look worn with borrowed-from-the-boys brogues, to a shrunken corset jacket that was a no-brainer accessory over the designers’ black sweetheart dress, but would work equally well with any diaphanous style you already have in your closet. 

“There are a lot of layers to it,” added Brock, noting that the two wanted the collection to be graphic, too, adding thread-work embroidery to a monochromatic tweed jacket and slit-front pencil skirt, and gold 3-D embroidery to a black lace corset gown with pretty puff sleeves and peplum details, that seems destined for the red carpet.

There was plenty for traditional romantics, too, namely a red heart-print organza pussy bow dress that was a Valentine’s Day fever dream, and three final looks in the wallpaper florals the brand is known for. Exaggerated flourishes such as black lace paneling and ruff collars added a welcome edge. But overall, the collection was less complicated and more accessible than any they’ve ever done, a real victory.

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