February 07, 2007 New York
More pertinent than both of these conceptual exercises was surely the real-life drama of the Trovata trio's split, leaving only Whitledge to carry the label forward. He made a game attempt, focusing on finer fabrics, redefining the silhouette. The bold linings, the secret pockets, the distinctive closings (particularly an enamel hook and eyelet) are part of Trovata's charm, as is the sense of layers of clothes with a story to tell. The problem was that unseasoned schoolteacher. As a conceit, it lacked the engaging complexity of last season's scuba-diving-explorers yarn, and added little new to the Trovata vocabulary. Perhaps striped and plaid button-down shirts or boxy suits in wide-wale mulberry corduroy and navy felted wool were intended to suggest the buttoned-down spirit of the classroom, but it felt better to focus on the gutsier outerwear, like a parka, a duffel, and a brown corduroy coat with a big knit collar.