Tony Melillo isn’t concerned with reinventing the wheel at his contemporary brand, ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo, where his M.O. is to elevate and perfect the casual and familiar. But when it comes to fits and fabrics — the way in which sweatpants drape on the leg, for example — he’s meticulous. “Our girl, and our customers, want the best of the best,” he said during a walk-through of his latest pre-fall collection, a lineup of luxurious casual wear done in a muted, neutral palette punctuated with soft pinks and stripes. “That’s what people come back for…and anything that we develop has to have that hand-feel and that relaxed elegance that allows it to fit into this world.”
Melillo’s finely ribbed off-the-shoulder bodysuits, dresses and sweatpants — snug to the body and double-layered for coverage — were well-suited for layering with his oversize silk bomber jackets or hooded V-neck chenille sweatshirts. Other knits — such as speckled cashmere and striped sweaters — were cut oversize with exposed seaming. Tailored gray suiting with black velvet accents, or a languid silk shirtdress in rosy pink, rounded out the relaxed offering with a dose of polish. “As casual as we are, we still feel sexy is important, even if it’s just the way a silk dress drapes on the body,” he said.