More eyes than ever before are trained on the husband-and-wife design team of Swaim and Christina Hutson, newly minted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees. Perhaps they were trying to shake off all that expectation with their Spring motto: "Turn on, tune in, and drop out." Or not. This was no Timothy Leary twirling-at-Woodstock-in-body- paint-and-patchouli scene. "Communes," Christina said backstage, then wrinkled her nose. "Well, luxury communes."
The wardrobe inspired by these dreamy utopias came in a serene and sun-bleached prairie palette, with loads of tactile linens, chunky laces, and hand-knits that did indeed speak of the finer things. We've come to expect the duowho, after all, were exclusively menswear designers until a few seasons agoto tailor a perfect jacket and give it an edgy spin, and they delivered again by cutting them in austere linen and pairing them with high-waisted trousers and shorts.
With girlish Watteau-back baby-doll dresses and the ladylike coupling of tiny tees and poor-boy knits tucked into palazzo pants, the Hutsons are clearly itching to nudge their daughters out of the masculine/feminine nest. But while the newly feminine looks were quite beautiful, it's still the couple's more unique knack for subverting masculine classics that makes people sit up and stare.