The air at Cynthia Rowley's Fall presentation smelled of cotton candy, just one of the confections served Sunday night in her brand-new Upper East Side store. Attendees were encouraged to stock up on licorice and Sour Patch Kids from the pick-n-mix, a part of CuRious, Rowley's new line of sweeties and party decor that lives on the second floor of her shop.
The clothes were sugarcoated too, at least in concept. A swirling digital print mimicked candy ribbons, and cabochons attached to sheer tights were akin to candy button strips. Watermelon and chartreuse-colored knits brightened up an otherwise dark palette.
Mother-of-pearl—which itself has a marbled, candylike appearance—was the starting point for Rowley, who worked with stylist Vanessa Traina to give the models a Helmut Newton-inspired look. "Fall is more serious to me," the designer said while greeting guest after guest, including the artist Richard Phillips.
If the two ideas—candy-pop, dark and downtown—don't sound like they'd mesh, that's because they didn't entirely. Some looks were out of place, including a seventies-style floral ruffle coat. What did bring the concepts together was a "New York Fucking City" T-shirt with colorful badges covering the offensive language. The rainbow-colored woven wallet chains were cool, too. They looked tough—but delicious.