Natalie Ratabesi showed off her moody side this season. "Rebel schoolgirl" was the theme du jour, and the Philosophy designer did well by it, conjuring the attitude of sneering young ladyhood without defaulting to the literal. There were slouchy knits in various fuzzy textures of mohair, an emphasis on school uniform grays and burgundies, and miniskirts with a sculptural flare, probably the season's key silhouette. The pieces that made the strongest impression were the brocades in abstract, punkish patterns—the best, in burgundy, had the look of a wall with the paint peeling off of it.
But Ratabesi's quieter looks were worthy of attention, too—case in point, the cropped gray mohair sweater with an attached long layer of sheer black chiffon. And the evening look in mikado—a pairing of that key skirt shape with an oversize tee with ruffled sleeves—stood out precisely for its low-impact, unstudied-ness. (Ratabesi also reversed the trick, proposing an embellished formal jacket for day.) All told, this collection hit on a tone that felt right for Philosophy, and right for Ratabesi—young posh girl who mostly doesn't give a toss. It rhymes with the looks Alberta Ferretti designed for Philosophy back in its grunge-era heyday. One more thing worth calling out: this season's short-heel, patent leather Chelsea boots. Chances are they made it onto more than a few editors' pre-fall shopping lists today.