For spring, Johanna Ortiz whipped up a collection chock full of craft and the luxurious ease she’s excelled at recently, while keeping the signature flirty details she started out with.
Ruffles made their return on tropical printed garden dresses while voluminous sleeves adorned a cherry red cotton frock with a pleated skirt. Meanwhile, ’90s style slips sported sexy spaghetti straps with raffia and hand-beaded seed bead hems, and playful pleated dresses came in shimmering silk Lurex (both new for the brand, and “without the itch,” Ortiz added). The designer’s tropical prints of the season, emblazoned on a majority of the collection’s fluid day-to-night styles, warped signature palms with inspiration from Matisse and Central Asian nomadic art; the biggest news in “prints” came through large palms atop day dresses, which were actually hand-embroidered raffia motifs.
“It has all this handcraft, which for me, is the new luxury,” the designer explained over Zoom from Paris, where she was debuting spring by appointment. While artisanal hand craft certainly stood out in ready-to-wear and through her fabulous mochilas and jewelry, Ortiz melded those details onto fabrications and silhouettes that still offered comfort and ease. For instance, there was a standout strapless, blooming black ruffled gown, which she noted was entirely in cotton.
Ortiz cited the tango as inspiration for the season; her collection certainly offered all of the sensuality and flirtiness of the once-banned dance, while providing female empowerment through optimistic yet luxurious and easy modern dress.