Aside from snapping cameras and chattering editors, the only sound to be heard at the Perry Ellis show was that of a nail being hit squarely on its head. In his pitch-perfect second collection for the label, Patrick Robinson captured the season’s pretty, eccentric femininity with just the right dose of color, wit, and lightness.

As with his spring show, Robinson staged the collection as a walk-through, posing models in a tableau that allowed the audience to examine at leisure. There were nostalgic references to decades past in the loose coats and trim pencil skirts done up in camel hair or tweed, the cardigans with jeweled buttons, the A-line skirts in pastel colors, and the vintage brooches that glittered on almost every lapel—not to mention the models’ twisted updos and rosebud lips. But the mix also included some very modern, city girl-tough pieces like a slouchy trouser suit, a pale pink satin puffa, and a nifty fake-fur vest worn over a slim green jacket. Perry Ellis made his name with just that kind of finely observed, slouchy chic, and it’s now quite clear how well Robinson understands the spirit of the venerable house.


— Janet Ozzard