Dennis Basso’s latest collection was one of subtle newness, incorporating experimental techniques and fabric treatments that expand on his evening-enamored library. He looked to Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” for inspiration, setting the mood of romance and mystery without ever looking dated. Intricate floral embroidery, chunky beading, and the use of fur as manipulated fabric are Basso signatures that helped elevate both gowns and loungey fare. Here is a man with an eye for fine detail that can’t be mass-produced.
The most evident manifestations of Basso’s inspiration were the embroidered antique book covers and quotes on both gowns and furs. There was a sense of kitsch and playfulness, as well as the hand-finished labor and treatment that makes the collection special. Birds, owls, florals, bishop sleeves and beaded quotes spoke to the romance of Victorian literature — and all could be found on one gown alone.
But the depth was in the details, where Basso experimented with furs in unexpected ways. Take, for instance, a pleated skirt paired with a sable jacket that had chiffon panels inserted for lightness; upon closer inspection, the accordion skirt isn’t a fabric at all, but in fact Russian broadtail. Similar double-takes applied to a bathrobe-like wrap coat featuring lace sleeves actually made from laser-cut broadtail that’s then crocheted. Those elements mixed all together in a sable jacket with chiffon strips and a broadtail-lace hem, done to airy and sheer effect.
Naturally, there were signatures like a glamorous fox coat, a sleek mink coat with cinched lace waist, and dreamy gowns aplenty, including one with a leather woven bodice and floral floor-length skirt.