Steven Alan has been presenting at New York Fashion Week for the past four seasons, so it was surprising when his name was missing from the official fashion calendar. "There was just a lot going on at the time, between moving our office and launching a new Web site," the designer told Style.com. But no slot on the packed-to-the-gills calendar doesn't mean no collection.
For inspiration this season, Alan looked to Eric Rohmer's 1971 film Claire's Knee, which follows Jerome, a 35-year-old diplomat, who becomes infatuated with 16-year-old Claire—more specifically, with her knee. He channeled the movie's charm and joyful start-of-spring feeling with a range of lightweight separates for men and women done in silk cottons, washed linen, and chambray. There was an abundance of prints, from a sun-bleached starburst motif to faded plaids. A quirky "pink lemonade stand" pattern that was developed by one of the team's design interns made its way onto the label's signature button-up shirts. Aiming for sophistication, he brought back Fall's tailored suiting. The most memorable two-piecer was done in a khaki leaf print that also appeared on a three-quarter-sleeve dress. On the solids front, there was a denim tennis skirt, short shorts with side-button details, and a gray sweatshirt dress, all of which show Alan's knack for creating simple, wearable clothing that will garner attention—no presentation required.