The sportiness of the Mother of Pearl collection has always reflected the extremely physical lifestyle of its designer, Californian surfer girl Maia Norman. Inevitably, as she changes, so does the collection. You could pick apart her Fall offering for subtle signs of a burgeoning sophistication, one which suggested a more leisurely, moneyed facet of life in the Sunshine State. Patio pants, for instance, in silk georgette, paired with a little silk tank with an elasticized waist. Or a sleeveless peplumed top over a pencil skirt—casual but dressy.
The sense of skewed elegance was heightened by the latest of Norman's artist collaborations, this one with Polly Morgan, mistress of darkly witty taxidermy. One of Morgan's classic prints—parakeets pecking at a bleeding heart—was superimposed on a marine-striped top. The tools of her taxidermy came together to form a Katrantzou-like placed print on a silk shirt. Bees were a less macabre running motif, pretty in glass with a tassel on the collar point of a white piqué blouse. A print that fused rococo swirls with snow-leopard spots was almost Versace. If Norman's planning to give Donatella a run for her money, she certainly delivered on the appropriately athletic footwear. Everything was paired with classic rubber-soled slip-ons.