Herzog & de Meuron, the visionary Swiss architects, were on Albert Kriemler's mind this season. The silvery high-tech "skin" of the Walker Art Center was interpreted as a georgette-covered metallic shrug, and San Francisco's new de Young could be seen in the sequins scattered over a black slip dress. Some of the more obvious building motifs, like the severe suede wedges and the 3-D cubes superimposed on large-gauge knits, looked clunky rather than light. But the theme was generally a good match for this designer's spare, precise sensibility and his strength as a tailor.
Kriemler delivered in the suit department, showing sharp, lean cuts in charcoal gray, sometimes with a minimalist ring of ruffles decorating the hem of a putty vest. Jackets were cinched with a polished stainless-steel belt for a slightly futuristic touch. And the interesting surfaces on the coats turned them into the highlight of the show. Crushed aluminum made a cocoon shape modern, while leather made a cropped anorak deluxe. Parkas were taken apart and rebuilt as evening toppers, a trick clever enough to even impress Jacques and Pierre back in Basel.