Before the show, John Whitledge, one of the Trovata Four, cited Robert Redford in 1969's Downhill Racer as an influence on the new collection. It was the type of aside guaranteed to keep a scribe scratching his head through the subsequent parade of skewed preppy classics in corduroy and velvet. But maybe that was the intention. Trovata relishes the unpredictable. Unfortunately, that's why a catwalk show (this was their first) isn't the best vehicle for their clothes. Not that you could fault them on set decoration: They had reconfigured a jaded New York cabaret as an Alpine wonderland, complete with yodelers, falling snow, ski lift, and a Saint Bernard (which elicited a huge collective aaahhh).
The thing is, you need to get up close and personal with Trovata's clothes to appreciate the unexpected details: the linings, the buttons, the playfulness that infuses their aesthetic. Up on the catwalk, a brass-buttoned navy blazer is just that. Likewise, a beige trench or a Norfolk jacket. Still, it was possible to admire Trovata's take on the sixties (slimmer silhouette, shorter jackets, tighter trousers, graphic linings). A school blazer over an ethnic sweater, paired with rust cords (and, as is their wont, sneakers) had the Wes Anderson quirk that makes this label so appealing. So did a black corduroy suitthe model was wearing heavy-framed glasses and an ascot, the kind of archness at which Trovata excels. Equally arch was the live band that played Hugh Hefner's greatest hits throughout.