Color is not a new topic of discussion in the house of Lela Rose. This is a woman who named her children Grey and Rosie. For Spring, the designer built her collection from the palette up: a baseline of sun-faded colors borrowed from Alex Katz paintings, layered with sharp notes of saturated summer brights. The first look out, which played the grass green of a boxy anorak off an acid-hued tank, had you hooked, and the second reeled you in with luscious blocks of color unexpectedly stacked up on the back of a seemingly neutral cardigan. Rose added depth with patterned jacquards and prints that were mostly subtle enough to jibe with her sophisticated composition. The standouts were a ghostly batik, supremely covetable in a pair of shorts, and a painterly metallic tweed in sunset hues.
Rose sought to impart a beachy quality to her silhouettes, with flat and folded or fluttering ruffles on cocktail frocks, and gowns echoing waves. These are, however, clothes meant for Fifth Avenue, not Montauk. Well, mostly. There was more of a sporty element here than ever, which is always a treat to see in Rose's hands. Now that she's more than adept at keeping her base excited, evolving that side of her work might be the key to snagging new fans.