Dennis Basso knows the world of “the swan,” that woman from an earlier era who used words like “summer” and “resort” as verbs. It’s a world he has dressed for decades, but that doesn’t mean he can’t move on with the times.
The designer referenced classic vacation locales where one finds such ladies — Palm Beach, Saratoga, Newport and Beverly Hills. As long as Basso has been around, he has dressed both the ladies who lunch, their daughters and probably their daughters’ daughters.
But in these modern times, he now envisions his girl in dresses with…sneakers! A first for him, Basso’s sporty shoes are in a bright calf hair and paired with a white short suit with a simple shell, topped with a luxe fur trimmed moto jacket. For mom, he proposed a mix of chiffon dresses done in a blue-and-white china print — easy, chic and to the point. There are still show-stopping gowns with floral appliqués and plunging necklines for those nights at the gala, each ornate with his trademark beading and crystals, but they felt modern and full of that Basso gusto.
Ever the showman, Basso loves the pomp and circumstance of a runway show, noting that some of his oldest customers haven’t missed a show in 36 years. “Yes, we could do it in the showroom, but I’m old school. There is something about the excitement and glamour,” he said.
As Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” played, the show closed with artist Ashley Longshore in a hand-painted coat, a nod to all the ways Basso is still very much about the glamorous side of life.