For his new gig at Halston, Marios Schwab was less engaged by the late designer's archive than by his ambition: to create something timeless for strong women. Schwab says that's his goal, too, and he achieved it when the woman evoked by his classically draped dresses with their flippy little skirts was Diana the Huntress. (Well, Schwab was born in Greece, where a little myth goes a long way.) The Halston legacy has defeated the best intentions of a handful of designers over the past few decades, but now there's a Heritage range to corral the classics (fronted by Sarah Jessica Parker, who showed up at the presentation today, along with Halston owner Harvey Weinstein), so Schwab has a more open playing field. He made the most of it with a collection that was a notably confident extension of his own aesthetic. An acute body-consciousness has always defined his work. Here, one of his inspirations was the fluidity of mercury, hence all that draping. The dress in sculpted neoprene offered a modern variation on the theme. More tricksy were the dresses with epaulets extended to wrap and define the models' forms. They trapped, rather than wrapped.
In one way at least, Schwab honored the name on the label. Another of his inspirations was apparently the set design of the 1978 Faye Dunaway vehicle Eyes of Laura Mars, which loaned a color palette of rich neutrals—in a sweater dress with fur sleeves, for instance—that was set off by shots of intense color, like the yellow knit cape dress or the red jersey gown. Sophisticated urban dressing, in other words, and that's Halston to the core. Schwab also brought in London-based jeweler Jacqueline Rabun to create silver accessories whose organic shapes echoed Elsa Peretti's classic pieces for Halston.