Coming up with 20 unique takes on the classic shirtdress each season requires a well-trained imagination. At the NAHM Spring presentation this morning, designers Ally Hilfiger and Nary Manivong proved they have plenty of creative ideas when it comes to tackling their self-imposed challenge. Innocent, white cotton frocks with delicate broderie trim could have been pulled from a blushing bride's trousseau. The collection didn't shy away from prints, featuring several traditional Asian patterns. (The duo was inspired by Parisian expats in Laos during the sixties and seventies.) One interesting motif, which looked in a way like a music equalizer, came on a wide-legged jumpsuit (a somewhat loose interpretation of the shirtdress theme, admittedly). It also appeared on the skirt of what Hilfiger called their "Woo-hoo dress"—wearing it reportedly causes the designer to shimmy and twirl around the room. Pamela Love created the jewelry for today's showing, which was a definite highlight. The necklaces had a modern witchcraft vibe and looked particularly cool with the buttoned-up collars here.
Next week, Hilfiger and Manivong are taking their shirtdresses on the road to London, where NAHM will launch a capsule collection at the Shop at Bluebird. Hilfiger summed things up, saying, "We're excited to keep growing the brand organically."