December 07, 2010 New York
It's 50 years since Ports was originally founded, and the company is on a roll. A few weeks ago, Michelle Obama was snapped in one of the brand's dresses—the best product placement there is these days. A flagship store in Paris on the Rue du Saint-Honoré is slated to open come summer. And now, the label has presented its first pre-fall collection. It was Fiona Cibani's second outing as creative director (Spring was her first presentation), and the Ports team has dubbed her the uptown counterpart to her downtown sis (and former head designer) Tia. So the look was proper and ladylike, with hemlines hitting no higher than the knee, and everything styled with long leather gloves. The customer who is dressing up again wants options, and there were silk sheaths in a range of daybreak colors—teal, pumpkin, blush, and lavender—with origami pleating and a convertible neckline that can be tied at least six different ways. It was mostly about softer dressing, but there were a few stricter silhouettes here. The organza trench, a best seller that is reworked each season, was sharp and collarless this time around. And an electric purple suit had skintight pants and a blazer with an exaggerated, feathered lapel.
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