Tamara Mellon can hardly contain her enthusiasm for a tribal-gypsy-warrior woman motif and spring 2016 was no exception. Her mood board was awash with Peter Beard photos of Seventies supermodels in the desert and a trio of carved wood African sculptures that were the genesis of the collection. The cutout became a graduated black-and-white print on a tiered, ruffled above-the-ankle “maiden” dress with a rope and leather harness-style bodice. The effect also showed up as laser cuts on color-blocked suede drawstring pouches and platform wedges.


A mix-matched draped gown with a leather open-corset belt worked back to her first love, accessories, and a gold Masai-influenced embroidered bodice on a white camisole-style dress was reminiscent of an Ancient Greek rather than African mood. The stunner of the collection was a white linen “blanket” dress with a turquoise, red and yellow stripe pattern and fringe whose inspiration came from another far-flung place: Marfa, Tex.

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