Jessica Simpson in her Daisy Duke attire would have fit right in at Victoria Bartlett's Hands on a Hard Body show. Held at the Audi showroom on Park Avenue, the set consisted of a rotating platform, four lingerie-clad models drinking beer (from the can) with male escorts, and a shiny red sports car. It was a vignette straight out of a gimmicky car show, and somehow, it worked. Bartlett, whose line has evolved from lingerie to casual/active sportswear, showed a mature collection with inspired details.
Baggy skorts made of sports mesh in huge hip-hop proportions were paired with "slip bras." Miniskirts were contoured and color-blocked or trimmed with diaphanous metallic silk. Mesh gussets on tanks and tees "represent perspiration," said the designer, who was playing with the idea of fitness and "the quest for body perfection." A "nude mega tie hoody" was a silky coat for a girl on the go from the gym to who knows where. As usual, the accessories were a hit. Bartlett made Airtex sandals and sock boots for Report. Brian Crumley provided terrycloth accessories, including unusual neckpieces that sat like triangles at the nape and were connected by a chain in front. Alyssa Norton's woven chain-and-fabric sweatbands, and Josh Hickey's ostrich egg necklaces finished the show, and had an unusual sex appeal.