Dennis Basso is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a furrier this year, so there was a celebratory feeling in the air at his show. Lorraine Bracco arrived bearing a congratulatory bouquet, and his loyal ladies came wearing his coats despite the afternoon rain. And, no surprise, there were plenty more lavish furs on the runway. The first look, a trapeze coat in creamy alligator on top and Russian sable below, was a good indication of the luxe factor on display. Yes, there were relatively simple and straightforward minks, but Basso much prefers to show off the technical innovations of his factories, not to mention the seemingly limitless imagination of his design room. A broadtail jacket, to name just one example, was spliced with handmade lace inserts and trimmed in silver fox.
Basso may have a quarter century of experience in the fur trade, but he has significantly less as a designer of ready-to-wearwhich might be the explanation for an overwhelming trapeze dress that practically suffocated its model in marabou feathers, or for the "techno" appliqués on a pair of long dresses that looked like nothing so much as rave ware. But he made up for those with a trio of understated black gowns (one of them belted with a string of pearls) that his gals would be delighted to wear underneath their sables.