January 10, 2011 New York
They started from the ground up: specifically, with a pump inspired by an archival model from 1959. The English duo sexed up the décolleté, modernized the heel, and turned it out in rich gem colors like azure and deep green, plus a few in croc. Voilà—fifties-inspired, but register-friendly in 2011, especially in our pump-happy moment. The clothing followed the fifties/sixties vibe. It was sporty but elegant and ladylike—think Tippi Hedren circa The Birds. Then again, Tippi's wardrobe wasn't this leather-centric. Skin was everywhere, from the contrast collar on a white cotton shirt to the stretch nappa of a body-hugging mid-length skirt. "Our heritage is as a leather house," Herz explained. Out walked a showstopping, fully reversible ostrich leather trench, a vibrant ocher yellow on one side, a neutral the designers call Calico on the other. It was heritage-respecting but not traditional; hide, maybe, but not hidebound. It will be interesting to see where Fidler and Herz can push their new charge next.