If you hadn't noticed, Elise Øverland is kind of a babe. Which may explain why her signature look is skintight leather—no matter how artful the construction or how tough the attitude, her leathers are just unavoidably bodacious. They were made for sharp-toothed bombshells. As for anyone else, good luck.
Even though there was indeed plenty of leather on Øverland's runway today, the show was something of a departure. Inspired, she said, by the "clean, pressed look" of household staff in colonial-era India, she conjured a collection that felt relatively demure. Emphasis on relatively: Øverland's neat, modified Nehru collars were found on A-line dresses that were hella short, and primly long-sleeved cream lace dresses were likewise abbreviated. (The latter was executed in chartreuse lace, as well, which was an interesting choice.) There was an overwhelming flavor of Carnaby Street in these pieces.
The strongest looks to emerge, however, stepped away from clean and pressed and mod, and toward a tiered construction. The tiers were soft (a color-blocked silk dress, gently draped), or sharp (minidresses flapped in rows of leather), or coolly geometric (A-line skirts of razored tiers were a winner). Other standouts included a draped olive pantsuit and skintight, scuba-esque tops in electric blue. Other than the love-it-or-hate-it chartreuse, Øverland's use of color here was quite assured, rotating earthy and electric tones through a primary palette of cream and black.
Overall, it was nice to see this designer softening her silhouettes and trying a new reserve on for size. There were plenty of clothes for bombshells, of course, but something here for the rest of us, too.