Jeffrey Monteiro has the not-so-enviable task of raising the
Bill Blass brand from the dead. But if there was ever a time to revive the label, it's now, when classic, all-American sportswear is the hot topic and even a designer like Balmain's Christophe Decarnin is putting Blass-isms on the runway—gold pinstriping, anyone?
By the looks of his 27-piece collection, Monteiro, who's previously worked for Jane Mayle and Derek Lam, has absorbed the storied house's codes. Working in the late designer's favorite colors—black, white, navy, and red—he turned out fresh takes on both day and evening dresses. In the former category: a sheath in nubby cotton inset with silk; in the latter, a draped to-the-floor number in diagonal microstripes. As for Monteiro's suits, they're hardly your typical lady-who-lunches variety. One raffia stripe jacket cut close to the body was shown with red and orange shorts. His Wednesday morning Lincoln Center competition, the retail heavyweights Tory Burch and Michael Kors, highlight just how much work Monteiro will have to do to raise the Blass profile, but these were promising first steps.