This was the first collection from Carmen March, the Spanish designer and former creative director of Pedro del Hierro Madrid, who left that label a year ago to launch her own independent thing. “I had been doing corporate for three years and wanted to regain control — the timing, smaller collections, well-thought of,” she said during a preview. Being your own boss with a blank-slate brand grants certain freedoms, and chief among them for March was the decision to sell her spring line to retailers during resort — Net-a-porter and Montaigne Market have picked it up — and holding off on showing it to press until fashion week. (The collection shown Wednesday will ship in two months.)
Onto the clothes. March’s tight, well-edited lineup was built around the idea of modern femininity, heavy on the classic Spanish accents — ruffles, boleros, high-waisted pants — but rendered with unfussy currency. She worked in crisp, light materials, such as tactile silk linen, twisted and wrapped around the body into bustiers, short dresses and jumpsuits framed in lightly structured ruffles that made a statement while remaining manageable. A spare, cropped leather jacket came with a removable ruffle detail; a nude tulle top was embroidered with black panels to give the illusion of ruffles floating on the body; and a pair of high-waisted black pants came with little ruffles at the back of the cuffs. Silhouettes took a woman’s figure into account on several levels — they were cut to contour curves without overexposing them and to fit comfortably. For example, the bustiers were fitted higher on the waist than usual. “So you can actually sit, have dinner and get up and breathe,” said March.