When they launched their womenswear collection two years ago, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright set out to re-create American classics, but with a luxe, urban sensibility. Since then, they've proven themselves as accomplished tailors with a hip factor that lands starlets like Kate Bosworth and Amanda Peet in their front row. (It doesn't hurt, of course, to have one of the world's top makeup artists, Gucci Westman, for a wife and collaborator, as Neville does.) For Spring, he and Wainwright polished things up a notch without veering too far from their roots, showing an update on the safari jacket paired with tapering pants, a mod-look black shirt worn with high-waisted white tuxedo trousers, and a skinny, boy-for-girl waistcoat that topped a pair of sharp, cropped slacks.
Their starting point"late-sixties and early-seventies James Bond," Wainwright said backstageadded a dose of sex appeal to the collection, most obviously in the form of an Ursula Andress-worthy bikini and an equally revealing leotard. If the designers misstepped, it was with dresses. Familiar shapes like a floaty trapeze frock and a baby-doll smock lacked the subtle subversiveness of the duo's more androgynous looks. Still, there were plenty of pieces for the girl who likes her basics with a toughened-up edge.