Jenni Kayne traded the tents for a two-hour afternoon tableau vivant in a midtown penthouse, citing the "crowded schedule" and a desire for editors and buyers to see how precise her message is. The celebrity eye candy (Mischa Barton, the Olsens) that this L.A. native's shows are usually good for was missing, but it seems like the prospect of presenting in such a relaxed setting helped the designer clear her head. Kayne has fumbled in the past when she's tricked things out for the runway, and for Spring she pared back and returned to an era that's interested her since her beginnings about five years agothe seventies, or more precisely, the seventies with a thirties twist.
A long sundress in a cheery yellow ikat print stood side by side with a raglan sleeve Greta Garbo gown in moody peacock green. Pinching and tucking at the neckline turned a glorified silver jacquard T-shirt dress into something memorable. The collection was also strong on tailoring. Kayne's boxy boyfriend blazers looked right over both a jersey T-shirt and trouser shorts, as well as a cocktail dressthat is, until you saw the cropped jacket and low-slung pleated trousers worn with flat sandals, which somehow seemed newer. A loose scoop-neck tee and a glossy black high-waisted skirt had not much to do with either of Kayne's favorite decades, but nonetheless, the combination looked like a winner.