Brian Reyes got off to a strong start as the creative consultant to TSE with his inventive and sophisticated line-up for pre-fall. That collection hit all the right notes: The clothes were clean and urbane with a flirty kick, and Reyes was gently pushing TSE's cashmere knits in an interesting, architectural direction. This season, though, the designer appears to have felt some pressure to make a statement, and his ambition occasionally threatened to get the better of him.
Reyes' modus operandi at TSE, he explained today, is to treat knit material the same way he would a woven, thus freeing himself to play with pattern and tailored or sculptural silhouettes; more specifically, this season Reyes was exploring layering and glasslike textures. All of that is to the good, and
the strategy resulted in some singular fabrications, such as a knit jacquard that came off like chiffon-appliquéd tulle, and a technical knit that looked as though it were covered in paillettes. But the tiered silhouettes, with long narrow skirts girding almost every look, were a touch awkward. And the two structured faille gowns he showed had you wondering why? It's possible to imagine a woman coming to TSE for more formal looks, like the Lurex-threaded bouclé cashmere pieces
shown today, but there isn't exactly a void in the ball-gown market, never mind one that needs to be filled by a brand known for cashmere knit sportswear.
Reyes gets the sense of ease that women look to TSE to provide—his pre-fall collection proved that. Going forward, he'd do well to remain focused on the brand's core identity as he looks for ways to develop his own take on it.