For his second outing at Bill Blass, Jeffrey Monteiro gave an intimate presentation at the Monkey Bar. Guests huddled in
leather booths, while waiters passed out flutes of bubbly and mini lobster rolls. It was a nice way to end NYFW, to say the least. The setting was almost too intimate, though: Photographers were cat-calling the models as they sauntered by. "There's a beautiful girl," came the cry, or, echoing the soundtrack, "Can I have your ice cream, please?" Perhaps this is what the photo pit always sounds like when you get up close and personal.
Where does a designer start when addressing the Blass legacy? Dipping into the house archives, Monteiro found himself drawn to the Fall 1970 collection. There was a definite old-school Blass feel here, but the designer also kept it current with clean lines, light fabrics, and a mostly black and white palette. A raglan tunic with an asymmetric striped pattern was cut in iridescent taffeta, and there was an unexpected slash on the lower back of a simple, ruby cocktail dress. The long looks here were particularly striking. The sharp blazer dress Frida Gustavsson wore had a mid-thigh slit for some sex appeal, and a triple-ply maxi skirt with a trailing feathered hem had broad appeal. Monteiro is starting to lay a new foundation for the house that Blass built.