There was something hip and charming about the opening look of Anne Valerie Hash’s Fall collection: a man-tailored jacket slipped over a tulle mini. It had the masculine/feminine vibe that’s been building since last season and was right in step with the dance craze that’s been seen at far grander and more richly resourced houses this week.
It also signified a move forward, if not exactly a grand jeté, for Hash. All designers must take care to craft their signatures over time, and hers has been about cutting up men’s formal tailoring and reconfiguring it every which way on a woman’s frame. In this collection, she added a delicate femininity to her raw-edged deconstruction by way of ballet references, and it was a relief.
There were footless ballet tights and sheer seamed stockings hacked off like legwarmers, as well as such great touches as a one-shouldered pale-gray T-shirt with raggedy tutu flounces and a sash with an explosion of black tulle ruffle riding on the hip of plain black pants. Some of her less complicated menswear excavations, like the small waist-length jackets made of striped lining fabric, washed soft and wrinkled, looked appealing; other experiments, like double-fronted men’s pants or pieces of jackets twisted around the body, didn’t really seem to be going anywhereat least, nowhere that Martin Margiela, Rei Kawakubo, Jean Paul Gaultier, and others didn’t already take us years ago.
That said, Hash is a focused and sensitive designer who is steadily building a retail following, andas a womanit’s good to see her adding something just a little girly to her repertoire.