Since launching Hellessy
just over a year and a half ago, Sylvie Millstein has been quietly making waves with her refined take on casual luxury. Before relocating to New York from Paris and starting her line (the moniker is a mash-up of her first name with those of sons Hendrix and Lennox), Millstein was working behind the scenes in merchandising for nearly a decade at Chanel. "So I know about chic," she said at a preview of Hellessy's first Resort collection. "I know what women are looking for. For me, it's got to have that nonchalance. The clothes have to be timeless and flattering above all." Indeed, there's a certain French sensibility in the way Millstein avoids trends and ostentation in favor of cool, calm, and collected classics. Focusing on a fresh, neutral color palette, the designer elevated easy sportswear shapes such as an elongated T-shirt dress, which was paired with a chunky, hand-loomed hoodie. Knitwear is an expanding category (apparently, retailers including Barneys can't get enough of Hellessy's wovens), and another highlight was a blanket-like cashmere cardigan styled with a wispy camisole and shirred khaki leggings that had scrunched-up appeal. "I love the sensual way it shrugs off the shoulder," said Millstein. Elsewhere, a loose white wrap blouse shown with languid, wide-leg trousers also had an alluring softness. While the lineup's overall look was decidedly relaxed, Millstein introduced structure in the form of a snug canvas surplus jacket featuring a sculpted peplum flounce in back. Other winning moments included a petal pink off-the-shoulder dress; a supple leather overshirt shown with a body-skimming silk maxi dress; and a series of polished, dark indigo pieces that marked the label's first foray into denim. This carefully considered collection reflected Millstein's elegantly modern approach to wardrobe essentials, and showed that Hellessy is an emerging brand to watch.