"This season was about developing my dark edge," Giovanna Randall said backstage before her show, conceding that she's been known in seasons past for her pretty femininity. If there was a darkness here, it registered less as Wednesday Addams (the character Randall name-checked before the show and the obvious inspiration behind the collection's severely pointed collars) and more as another morose anti-heroine: Dickens' Miss Havisham. Where Addams is otherworldly, Miss Havisham is frozen in time, the last girl at a long-forgotten party.
The idea of decaying in state could certainly be one interpretation of the laser-cut flowers in paper nylon that crept their way up the sides of shorts and ate into tweed lapels. The mix of materials, like tulle layered over iridescent jacquard, and the use of embroidered lace and sequins created depth. They gave the clothes a handcrafted feel, as if pieces of beautiful flotsam had been assembled into gowns. The prints, a mix of botanicals, interpretations of vintage textiles, and a cool birch bark graphic also served to heighten the clothes' impact. A sheer, sleeveless cropped blouse in neon green with a contrasting collar hovered over a pink-and-burgundy pencil skirt—a look that managed to be both prim and sexy all at once.
It wasn't dark dark, but Randall did end up somewhere elegant and edgy—a retail sweet spot. And while the runway show may have tried to project an eerie vibe—serious soundtrack, girls emerging from a misty wood—the finale put all bleak thoughts to rest. Hand in hand, the models skipped down the runway, looking positively gleeful.