Batsheva Hay is tired of answering questions about her unique line’s strictly modest offering; so she got three other people to do it for her. For her spring presentation, Hay brought in a panel of psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster, art historian and theorist Melissa Ragona and philosopher Chiara Bottici to discuss their takes on her designs within a larger context of culture. Descriptions such as “the clothes we dream in as children as adolescents in more innocent moments”; “the plunging neckline of yesterday, what we thought was the future, now belongs to the high collar of the prairie dress;” and “a tension between Peter Pan, both the collar and the girly-boy, and Captain Hook, somewhere between the soft dream and a hard drag of a one-handed pirate,” were offered up as Hay’s new offerings strutted through a NYU Law School lecture hall (Hay was after all, originally a lawyer).
Like the panel, Hay’s lineup (which felt a little second fiddle to the discussion) included a more expanded view of her love-it-or-hate-it designs. She offered up lots of new separates — little floral printed blouses, scallop edged bolero jackets and even body-hugging daisy printed cotton leggings — which she described as “untraditionally modest,” but layered them as so both atop and under her signature dresses. Silhouettes mixed a hint of Victoriana details with “glorified nightgowns,” as Hay described, covered in little floral prints or patchworked with prints more wild and vibrant. The designer narrated this paradox as cozy, her quilt-like designs reminding her of being home (where she actually works from).
“The way that I dress comes from the freedom of being home so much and not having to go to the office,” Hay described preshow, “So the way I did it is wild and free, hanging out at home.”