Anyone who has ever run screaming from the word "ladylike" might take a look at Tuleh, where Bryan Bradley has successfully unstuffed that formidable term and made a new generation of women yearn for elegance. The label has been a socialite mainstay for years, but it’s only recently that the company has reached for a broader audiencehence the runway shows.
Bradley’s brief, buoyant fall collection (his second in the tents) showed his deft hand with tricky elements. There were delightfully unexpected color combinations (a yellow wool coat trimmed with gray fox, a coral and green lace dress) and intense, attention-grabbing fabrics, like bold tweeds or elaborate jacquards shot through with metallic and layered with lace. Beautiful tweed jackets had Tuleh’s signature twists: raw edges, extended cuffs, and dressmaker details, plus an occasional camellia-adorned lapel, to make clear their debt to Chanel. For night, he turned the volume down, showing only a few mutely simple black silk dresses and gowns.
The designer wisely kept silhouettes simple and tailored, occasionally adding a knee-grazing scarf or some giant clear buttons for a bit of whimsy. And that’s the secret to Tuleh’s success: a sense of fun that came through loud and clear in the tissue-thin cashmere T-shirts, printed with a Tuleh logo that looked like it could have come off a bottle of barbecue sauce and a range of mottos, including “we is (sic) family.” Those T-shirts, layered over silky dresses and blouses, are destined for socialite closets worldwidealong with the rest of this collection.