Kimberly Ovitz's clothes sell. Or at least that seems to be the case, considering the buyers in her front row rushing to congratulate her postshow. (Linda Fargo, Ken Downing and the lot…) You've got to hand it to her—she takes customer feedback seriously.
For instance, this season she's incorporated more color—partially because the buyers asked for it, and partially because it's what she's feeling. "It's important to be aware of needs," Ovitz said in her studio, just days before Thursday's runway show in the suddenly hot venue Café Rouge. (Once a part of the Hotel Pennsylvania, the whitewashed space—anchored by a grand, nonworking fountain—is owned by a real-estate firm and rented out for private events.)
Throwing some bright spots into a show can feel off if the designer favors black and gray. But Ovitz's tight little azure blue knit dresses looked like the type of thing a girl who wears black all the time would try for fun. As did a purplish-gold-blue "radial" print—fancy word for tie-dye?—that was featured in several of the opening looks. We liked these styles the best. Probably because it's hard to get tie-dye right.
Bugs were Ovitz's inspiration. Or, more precisely, the "natural defense mechanisms of animals and insects." It was evident in the prints, which looked like they could be an artist's rendering of a creepy-crawly. You could also see it in the armorlike details on some of the jackets and dresses (seams were stuffed to create a molded shape).
Critters were more directly referenced in the jewelry, designed by Ovitz but produced at lightning speed by Shapeways, a 3-D printing company. Ovitz chose to work with the firm because shoppers would be able to order the pieces immediately after the show. The ear cuffs, rings, and necklaces—made with stainless steel or nylon and priced between $35 and $495—are already for sale on www.kimberlyovitz.com. How's that for customer service?