Elegant serenity. That’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s prescription for The Row. It resonates with legions of chic women and usually plays beautifully within the madness of fashion week.
This time, that beauty was wanting. The clothes still bore the lyricism inherent in visual calm and graceful lines. But typically, the Olsens identify small, strategic elements of design and detail that elevate the plainness to a higher level of interest. (Plain here is not synonymous with simple; the wrapped silhouettes were in fact anything but.) But they didn’t do that here.
During the research phase they became taken with raw silks of various weaves and intensities, which ultimately inspired the collection. They romanticized the literal connotations of these fabrics in looks that ran either Eastern artisanal-nomadic or medieval heroine in homespun mode. Long, calm silhouettes devoid of any decoration ranged from loose-but-linear to huge, sweeping triangles, with bodices sometimes wrapped intricately for definition, with a nod to Romeo Gigli. It was the essence of elegance. But sometimes elegance can use a little oomph.