What is there to say about TSE? Clearly it's a house that knows how to pick talented designersHussein Chalayan and Richard Chai have passed through its revolving doorsbut keeping them is another story. Tess Giberson designed for Fall, but left before the collection was presented. Spring is a collaborative effort by Dushane Noble, an in-house designer; Tom Scott, who has his own knitwear collection; and Julian Louie, a protégé of Francisco Costa, who will debut his own line next week and will work on TSE's Fall 2009 line.
Although the cashmere house is undeniably in the grips of an identity crisis, the models paraded with confidence in the light-filled showroom, with pieces from the collection suspended here and there. This created a bit of a ghostlike effectas if to say, "Where's the designer?"but it also emphasized the transparency that played throughout what was, against the odds, a very accessible collection. Monet prints added color and romance to a lineup that included chunky sweaters with subtle details (like squared collars), back-buttoning cardis, light layered tops paired with knee-length pants, and a chic "camping" ensemble that was both utilitarian and stylish. These were more than basics, but not so much so that they would scare those customers who still associate TSE with a great cashmere sweater.