The 1920's French Riviera of Tender Is the Night is friendly territory for Mark Badgley and James Mischka. The beads, the fringe, the Champagne-soaked nightswhat better era to mine for the red-carpet dresses that have long been the duo's bread and butter? For Spring, they reinvented a
drop-waist flapper dress in blush tulle and satin. In a more indirect reference to their inspiration, the designers studded the front of a plunge-back maillot and a halter-neck, sleeveless dress with crystals in a geometric, Art Deco style.
The seventies tailoring and structure of the Charlie girl are less familiar to Badgley and Mischka, who are still relatively new to the sportswear game. But, the pair said before their show, they were taken with "the way that decade's clothes were put together and polished, yet didn't grab the body." So they showed fluid suitings and jumpsuits in washed shantung and the maxidresses associated with the period in cotton gauze. A purple silk strappy dress, gathered and draped casually at the hips, was one of their strongest Me Decade riffs.
Altogether, though, these inspirations made for an unusual and sometimes jarring combination. Badgley and Mischka would do better for themselves to refine their message next time.