Ports 1961 is a world traveler's brand, from its hemisphere-hopping influences right down to its logo, a globe. So it was a surprise when yesterday's Resort show opened with a raspy incantation: "New York is the thing that formed me; New York is the thing that deformed me…"
That was the voice of Patti Smith, the seemingly inexhaustible icon, on the soundtrack. Ports' Tia Cibani screened Steven Sebring's Smith doc, Dream of Life, alongside her models, and took the punk poetess as her muse. Signature Patti items, like the necktie and white men's shirt from Mapplethorpe's portrait of the artist on Horses, came in for revision. (The white shirt, for example, became a boxy, cropped blouse, asymmetric lapels flapping.) But the homage was best at its least literal. Billowing T-shirt dresses in satin and silk jersey had a relaxed elegance; a paneled geometric dress cut a fluid silhouette more Ports than Patti, per se. As for punk rock pieces like legging-tight coated jeans snaked with studlike metal snaps? Hard as we try, we can't picture Cibani's customer on a night out at CBGB's.
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