Kobi Halperin sees resort as a time for novelty, coupled of course with his brand of ornate embellishment. On a trip to Berlin a few years ago, the designer viewed an exhibition on Kunstkammer, or, Cabinets of Wonder and Wonder-rooms. They featured a curation of beautiful objects and relics that at times had little to do with one another, a parallel Halperin associates with today’s social media obsession, where every pretty thing ends up in one feed. His inspiration was thus born: Bringing together a rich assortment of seemingly disparate details — dry flowers, ostrich feathers, pearl trimming, patched embroidery, etc. — in a collection that bridged high and low.
The tether to the Cabinets of Wonder was brought to life in bright yellow wallpaper-influenced floral prints found on his signature free-flowing blouses. The print showed up elsewhere on a detachable neck piece featuring insect and floral embroidery that could be worn as a stand-alone accessory over leisurely tops or with any of his flowy plissé gowns. He introduced more color, as in a pink gown with gold embroidery, and focused on adding dimension to soft and feminine silhouettes — ruched silk sleeves on blouses, rhinestones on satin tops, ostrich feather trim on knits and accordion pleating throughout. Where at times the embroidery felt like an afterthought, Halperin more than made up for it in the timeless quality of his unfettered blouses, like an ivory pleated top with mixed lace or the exposed-shoulder tops with draped sleeves.