"Celestial" was Douglas Hannant's touch point for a cool-colored Fall 2014 collection. Maybe because starry skies inspired the designer, today's presentation seemed heavily bent toward eveningwear; an excess of shimmer made even button-up blouses look ready for nightlife. It's too bad, because a couple of quieter pieces (which may have been designed with daytime in mind) were overtaken by all the sparkle. A fitted black sweater dress with a single thick cable down its center was awkwardly hidden under a cropped metallic jacket that threw off its proportions. A pair of luxe leather trousers with subtle slouch also showed promise, whether or not they will resonate with Hannant's uptown clientele.
But if those clients are shopping for gala season come fall, they should have plenty of dresses to choose from. The standout was a spaghetti-strap gown of bias-cut graphite woven raffia. On the hanger before the show it looked almost like metallic snakeskin, but Hannant said the surface appearance would look like liquid on the model. Perhaps better, it appeared more substantial, almost like leather. In spite of its slip-style silhouette, this dress had a bit of body, which should make it easier to wear. It was certainly more wearable than a trumpet-skirt gown of metallic tweed that cinched unforgivingly at a model's knees, restraining her movement. That dramatic, voluminous strapless silhouette also showed up in a gown of grape-colored silk faille that Hannant had hand-painted. The designer said he used a bottle to keep the process "very controlled," and while interesting, it still looked very splatter-painted and, combined with the dress' color and silhouette, very 1980s. That era of excess was reflected in many of these layers of metallic sequins, lace, leather, and fur. This collection didn't feel especially current, but piece by piece, Hannant's customers may still have some fun with it.