Encouraged by last season's response to his foray into animal skins, Frank Tell decided to start a new line, Francesc by Frank Tell, to focus on exotics. His self-titled line will continue as a more contemporary collection.
Alligator jackets were last season's big news, and they returned for Spring. While Fall's were tattered and frayed to the point of decay, the new versions are much crisper—still just as cool, and a sure thing from a retail standpoint. Elsewhere, Tell faltered. Lace dresses, left unlined to better achieve a tattoo effect on the skin, were roped together at the bodice and the waist, leaving a few inches of skin exposed beneath the cord. Gussied up with ruffled peplums, they looked costumey and exuded a sexual aggressiveness that felt out of place. Backstage after the show, Tell admitted that the look may be a bit severe for some, but said he found it womanly. Different styling and fewer ruffles could have gotten that message through more clearly, and without losing the raw finish Tell was after. Knits were more successful. Tell replaced his dreamy, drapey cobweb pieces with high-tech stretch wool separates that were sporty, sexy, and smart. In other words, womanly.