It was a surprise to walk into Gregory Parkinson's presentation today and see so much black. Considering he was coming off a gorgeous Spring collection of dresses that seemed to glow from within, you had to ask him why. Explaining the thinking behind the shift, the L.A.-based Parkinson said, "I consider myself a beachy, resort designer, and I asked myself how do I transition to a Fall collection." He was also sure to point out that his blacks aren't true blacks; each piece is custom-dyed. "There's lots of depth in them," he said.
A close inspection revealed the accuracy of that statement—the lookbook pictures do better justice to his 17 tiny top and full skirt combinations than the ill-lit room in which they were presented. Tie-dye techniques created bands of jewel tones on several of the skirts; another to-the-floor tiered style was actually purple with a black tulle overlay. Two others came in black floral lace with white petticoats, lending them a formality that set them apart. The tops were wispy little things, sleeveless more often than not, which meant the eye kept going back to a stretch crochet sweater with sleeves to the elbows. A camisole and skirt with hits of fiery orange and purple were reminders of Parkinson's lush color sense. Maybe you can't blame a guy for embracing the dark side once in a while, but you couldn't help but hope that he finds his usual spark again next season.