Marissa Webb staged her first solo presentation today, but she's no stranger to fashion week. Before she left J.Crew last year, she appeared side by side with Jenna Lyons at the brand's Lincoln Center installations. At her show today you could see the connections between Webb's former life and her new one in her flair for offbeat color combinations, her embrace of casual-cool everyday clothes, and, yes, her penchant for sequins. But there were enough distinctions to see why she might've wanted to do something with her own name on it. A white Italian cotton-linen pantsuit that she indicated as a favorite pointed up the differences best. No ordinary suit, the jacket was rather more of a tunic with a narrow fit, a deep V-front, and a zip up the back. Probably the best way to put it is that the Webb look is more elevated.
Greeting the 9:30 a.m. crowd, Webb said what defines the collection are its combinations: "High and low, black and white, soft and hard, accessible but also inspiring." Her years of merchandising experience at J.Crew came through in the show's wide-ranging propositions. On the one hand, you saw lots of tough black leather (the best piece being a waistcoat with a side zip closure), and on the other, she had all these silk bow-front blouses. Falling somewhere in between those two poles was another persuasive look, a black and white baseball jersey in crisp poplin, worn with superwide pants in the same fabric, with thick stripes wrapping around the outside of the legs. This was a promising beginning.