Just 15 minutes before their first model hit the runway, Ohne Titel designers Alexa Adams and Flora Gill were so calm and happy, you almost wanted to remind them they had a show to put on. (Don't worry. They knew.) The pair pronounced their Spring collection playful, energetic, optimistic. "We're trying new things, but doing it our way," said Adams.
The first look out was a body-hugging poppy-hued pencil skirt and matching cardigan, both knit with a herringbone motif that they developed themselves. It was a harbinger of the more feminine fare to come. However, true to their word, it wasn't a whiplash-inducing 180 from what they do well. The woman who's sworn by Ohne Titel's slouchy drawstring pants and lean knit-and-leather jackets will easily find her way to a color-blocked dress with dolman sleeves or a sexy-sporty striped and cropped sweater.
The designers also ventured further into wovens with silk dresses and a first stab at evening. The results indicated a work in progress. Dresses in a multicolored scarflike print that echoed the herringbone knit had some kick. And a red halter dress with hem slightly raised in front had an athletic grace, particularly worn as it was with flat sandals, part of the label's brand-new shoe collection. But while Adams and Gill's knits have something original to say, it's hard to distinguish what makes these other frocks or high-waist trousers truly theirs.
Nevertheless, this was a successful push into new territory. Those wide pre- and post-show smiles were warranted.