Kobi Halperin is often inspired by his world travels — and not always by choice, he notes, as the demands of a taxing retail cycle require constant newness and inspiration. For spring, the designer found optimism while visiting the Shchukin Exhibition in Paris, notably in Paul Gauguin’s Tahiti paintings and Henri Rousseau’s jungles, both known now to have been renderings of the artists’ imaginations. They inspired a tropical theme for the season, but also brought Halperin back to memories of his first visit to America, seeing the bright colors in Miami juxtaposed with city life, and wanting to bring that balance into his clothing.
There were slight contrasts of the hard and soft through men’s wear-inspired suiting and shirting, and between business and casual with relaxed pajama sets. But Halperin delivered on what he does best, injecting feminine separates with luxe embroidery and a European sensibility. Crochet details and lace-y motifs have become signatures of the brand, seen here as ornate embroidery on a white dress or light accents on the bottom of cropped trousers — always with an element of ease. Pattern and color were key, breathing energy into the collection with graphic florals and pops of sunny yellow and pink; it was also an expansion on what customers have been asking for. “There’s lots more color,” Halperin noted in his showroom. “This is the time. I’m open to it. The customer wants it.”
Also new was the introduction of denim, but not classic five-pocket jeans. Halperin offered up sleek alternatives through a jacket with kimono sleeves and jeans with gold embroidery and frayed hems; they had personality, but were still casual and approachable. “Dressing up or going casual, we need to touch our customers’ different needs,” Halperin ended. “Basically she’s mixing it all up. The most important thing is she’s celebrating getting dressed every day.”