Louise Goldin is a reticent designer. Almost all she would say about the thinking that went into her latest collection was that she was making the kind of clothes she'd want to wear. As goals go, that's fine, but it was clear from the looks on the runway that a ton of ideas went into them. There were ideas about dimensionality and layering, and ideas about asymmetry, and ideas about clothes working together in modular ways. There was also a fascinating conversation happening between Goldin's heavy horizontal ribs and knife-sharp circular pleats, which teased out the graphic possibilities of texture and shape. And that's an abbreviated list of the ideas in the mix here; the technical stuff on Goldin's knits could fill several collection reviews on its own.
It's self-evident that Goldin has a forceful intellect; it's the message her clothes are sending that's a little garbled. This collection wasn't incoherent—there was an overarching fierceness to the attitude, and some kind of internal logic was at work. But it was a logic that simply refused to make itself known. In the face of that silence, all you can really do is name winners among the looks. So here goes. Goldin's pleated dresses and skirts were terrific, in particular the ones with panels of leather knit into the pleats. Likewise, coats featuring that horizontal ribbing were consistent highlights, and in fact, outerwear in general was a strength. The three-dimensional intarsia chain knits had a distinctive graphic pop, and Goldin's asymmetry was at its most convincing in short cutaway jackets and laid-back sweaters with a long, overhanging flap. More hits than misses, on the whole. All well and good then, except that Goldin is one of those designers who should be knocking collections out of the park.