Dennis Basso left anything heavy-handed behind for spring. Even his signature excesses were gone, giving this collection a more youthful, breath-of-fresh air feel. There were even peasant looks — a white hand-beaded lace and chiffon blouse with the long ivory pleated skirt had lots of charm. Some peasant! The designer showed countless, but never boring, below-the-knee dresses or gowns in these same fabrics, as well lamé, with delicately controlled embroidery. He moved seamlessly from short to long or lean to flowing silhouettes and worked great pants in his lightest fabrics.
Surprising here were the lush suedes: a camel sleeveless sheath with scooped sides and a lean skirt paired with a black lace and dark nude chiffon blouse. Elsewhere, a slate-gray slender skirt was teamed casually with a hand-embroidered point d’esprit T-shirt. An effortless appearance was key to so much of this collection’s success, with a drapey brown suede shrug, for instance, thrown over a hand-embroidered nude tulle gown. Or the easy way with which Basso showed a few of his furs — a beautifully embroidered short nude lace dress under a long broadtail vest and even a white sable and chiffon jacket — making them seem almost incidental rather than the point. For all this luxury, it was the devil-may-care lack of attitude that was Basso at his best.