Victoria Bartlett, who focused on dancers last seasonand suffragettes the season before thatstepped away from the barre and turned her attention to another of her obsessions: sculpture. Hans Bellmer's mechanical dolls and Louise Bourgeois' "pendulous, glandular" forms were of particular interest, as the designer took, to quote the program, "a journey across the geography of the body." Bartlett herself translated that to mean that "the curving and seaming follow the musculature lines, which is an inherent VPL theme."
If the concept was a bit heavy, its execution was pleasingly light. It's not necessary to have an art history degree to understand the appeal of a great knit, a sturdy coat with a subtly rounded asymmetric hem, or a slightly off-kilter silken shift dress. One of Bartlett's collaborations this season was with Icelandic hair artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, also known as Shoplifter, who contributed some hirsute accessories that were cleverly integrated into the presentation. It was a well-honed collection, and, despite the highfalutin sources, more down-to-earth than Bartlett's last.