For his offbeat spring collection, Charles Harbison drew inspiration from the 1967 Stanley Kramer film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” particularly the lead role of Joanna Drayton played by Katharine Houghton. “I loved that she had this reckless abandon for what she wanted,” the designer said. “It really felt consistent with all the Harbison women that I love so much.”
A “renegade surf girl” is how he envisioned his modern Joanna and she certainly had a strong sense of character this season. From the first to the final look, the collection brimmed with quirk: Ruffles were asymmetrically attached to dresses in a collision of prints; and a mix of oversize buttons, inspired by bubbles as part of a subtle aquatic theme, came embellished on knitwear and cascaded down the sides of dresses, tops and pants.
There was a haphazard, Frankenstein-like quality to the way some looks were patched together — but somehow, it worked. One thing’s for sure, next spring, Harbison’s girl will be the most interesting one in the room.