"I know everyone says this, but I really wanted to just do clothes that women want to wear," said Sharon Wauchob backstage after her show. "I didn't want to think about the runway at all." Ah, the what-women-want-to-wear tack. It's a funny sentiment when uttered by most designers, but for Wauchob, who's generally able to translate her ideas with commercial appeal, it seemed apt.
Most notably, Wauchob's client-centric effort had a far warmer sensibility than last Fall's foray into edgy, black, and angular. Coats and jackets were cut in thick wool; one with a wide shawl collar went nearly to the floor. And clearly Wauchob's twigged to the fact that these days a plush touch of fur immediately brightens a girl's eyes. Who'd say no to the easy elegance of a luscious fox stole over a fine-gauge sweater and fluid beaded skirt? (Though a sheared mink jacket with odd, telescoping sleeves might not make the cut.) Wauchob's skinny pants came in a protective calfskin, zipped open at the ankles.
But what women should want from Wauchob (and likely will) are this collection's dresses, where the designer's talent for exquisite detail coupled with a restrained hand really shines. Some had panels of flat metal beading and meshlike lace, created on a traditional lacemaking machine. That's Wauchob's way of respecting old technique, she says, without vintage connotations. As such, your grandmother might never recognize as lace that last run of beautiful dresses, which were crafted by shearing the fabric, reapplying it, and then pleating it. But if she's still got some kick in her step, she might love to wear one.