February 09, 2006
Tucked as it was between Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan on the last afternoon of New York fashion week, the Strenesse show could've been a nonevent. But Gabriele Strehle rewarded the minimalist faithful with a quietly luxe collection short on the week's omnipresent ornamentation, and long on smartly tailored suits and coats, some in oversize houndstooth, as well as layered cashmeres. With a series of wide knit bandscummerbunds, if you willin colors that contrasted with the turtlenecks with which they were paired, the Munich-based designer made a persuasive argument for a knit you never knew you needed. But when she dabbled in ornamentation, as she did with floral-embroidered organza skirts and tank dresses, she lost her way, and her audience.