Rigor is essential to a designer. But an excess of discipline—like any other kind of too-muchness—can be the undoing of a collection. When Osman Yousefzada launched his line four years ago, his clothes were rigorous almost to the point of sterility. He obviously had a way with cut and a strong and refined sense of color, but his sculptural aesthetic was rather monastic, a tone hard to square with the warm, curious young man responsible for it. Now, with the debut of his first Resort collection, he finally seems to be having fun.
The playful feeling here was due to two positive developments: First, Yousefzada has loosened up his shapes, and second, he's accommodated himself to the idea of decoration. The looser mood could be summed up in a simple, slit-up-to-there black gown with painterly flowers embroidered on the bodice. The piece breathed. Elsewhere, the designer applied the same embroidery to more typically structured looks, such as squared-off strapless dresses, but the cuts were softened by their sexiness. Likewise, the repeated use of an open shoulder, in A-line dresses and peplum tops, modernized pieces that would have otherwise come off atavistically prim. There was still a vintage-y mien—Yousefzada's pastel jacquard tank and brocade cigarette pant wouldn't have looked out of place on Jackie Kennedy—but overall, the collection was sprightly and up-to-date.