To call it a green thumb would be putting it mildly. Serkan Sarier's new Brood collection was a riot of roses. The designer drew on botanical rose prints from throughout the twentieth century—the Deco period, the forties, the sixties—and silkscreened them onto silk faille, stitching panel on panel of them, so that many looks bloomed from black and white to color, from one panel to another. Sarier was interested, he said, in the durability of the rose throughout the years, the way the flowers came to stand for a permanent emblem of beauty. Gertrude Stein once said much the same thing, though a bit more simply. As she put it, a rose is a rose is a rose.
As roses layered on roses, so pieces layered on pieces—a change for this label, which typically focuses on dresses. "I wanted to give the Brood girl more options," Sarier explained. "Usually we think of layering in autumn, but everyone loves to wear light layers." He provided plenty. Each look comprised several, with fluoro lace tanks under floral bodices, lace-up silk shorts giving a glimpse of a lacier pair beneath. (The flowers, fluorescents, and mixed prints were very young London, by the way—a strain that's run through the New York collections all week.) Here the lengths were short, the fits mostly snug, the details borrowed, as is Sarier's signature, from sport: stoppers, laces, pulls.
The prettiness and sportiness together jarred in an appealing way, and the emphasis on separates presents a solid commercial opportunity. Both aspects were good—and if anything, the show occasionally veered into too much of a good thing. There was so much to look at in any given look that each one took on a frantic energy. In the past, Sarier has offered a few palette cleansers in his presentations—snow white or solid-colored moments of calm. A few more here wouldn't have hurt. By kismet or cosmic coincidence, Brood fan Emma Watson wore just such a dress from Sarier's Fall collection to her latest premiere tonight.