The enigmatic Bryan Bradley provided just a handful of clues as to what his show was about, dropping references to Vassar girls, Edie "Grey Gardens" Beale, and a stranger with matched suitcases. In the end though, it didn't matter so much who the characters were that populated Bradley's imagination; what counted was that they inspired one of his prettiest shows to date.
There was a definite East Coast patrician feel to the collection, which opened with "Vassar Girls" in slim forties-style pencil skirts that hit below the knee, and continued with "Suitcase Girls" in cinched-waist coats. Luxe is Bradley's catchword, and his furs, often combining species, were especially alluring. A white corsage-trimmed jacket and stole was costumey, but in an intriguing Hollywood-studio-days kind of way. The same could not be said of some of the feather flourishes, however.
Bradley's favorite ornaments for fall were outsize rosettes and generous bows, and his prints, as usual, were mainly florals. Such decorative tendencies notwithstanding, there was an overall feeling of restraint. This was evident in a brown monk's dress and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in an oil-black satin sleeveless dress and an ivory stand-collar one. A geometric red coat in the "Strangers" section missed the mark, though.
Moodier than spring's collection, this show was also more tightly focused. If Bradley was inspired by an "exotic and distinguished" stranger, loyal Tuleh fanseach of whom found a handwritten note on her chairwill find the quality and loveliness of this collection reassuringly familiar.