“The whole inspiration is a New York City girl,” Dennis Basso exclaimed backstage before his fall show. “It’s all about every woman around the world, no matter where she’s from — Cairo to Dubai to Japan to Paris to São Paulo — everybody wants to be a New York City girl, a little bit. Trust me, when they come to New York, they think, ‘Do I look New York enough?'”
Basso defines the New York City girl as high-low, funky-sophisticated, citing Brooke Astor, Barbra Streisand, Barbara Walters, Lady Gaga and Cardi B as some of the city’s greatest (whether they were born in one of the outer boroughs is of no importance). His ultimate NYC icon is Lady Liberty, who represents freedom, strength and independence, all of the qualities he sees in his woman.
“But the real New York City girl never lets the fashion wear her, she wears the fashion,” he points out. Basso’s girls indeed wore the fashion, and this collection felt more cohesive and streamlined, less fussy than in the past. Daywear and long overcoats proved to be strong points, for example, a leopard trench with a fox collar and velvet trim and matching boots; a hand-painted floral jacquard kimono with sable collar, or a divine eel midiskirt with shearling jacket. There was also a sienna-colored python jacket and duchess satin shorts for strolling down Fifth Avenue, or a refreshing, printed lamé floral gown with low cowl-back for evening. “Easygoing and fun, glamorous,” he called it. Aside from a few unnecessary dated evening offerings or rose-gold eel and paillette accents, it really was.
Furs are one of Basso’s staples and strong points (fresh for the season was buttery yellow sable and aubergine purple mink), but the designer also enjoys faux fur, evident of his 26-year-old QVC line, Dennis by Dennis Basso. Rooting the collection in freedom and empowerment through fashion, Basso unexpectedly offered two great faux-fur jackets (leopard-printed and black fox tip) in the fall lineup, just the thing for his New York girl who does, and wears it all.