February 04, 2008 New York
Barbara Tfank cited as inspiration the striking color and strong black line of Three Women, a painting by the Cubist Fernand Léger. But no matter her spark, Tfank always hews close to her elegant ethos, gently limning each season's ideas in feathery strokes. For Fall, her ladylike fare, cut in typically rich textiles, was joined by newly casual wares: soft coats and pants in plain heathered wool. These were as soigné as one would expect but much more "day" than Tfank has ever done before. And smack in the middle of a series of proper gold, black, and silver evening looks came the shock of an almost bohemian pleated ombré silk column in fuchsia and lipstick red. It was just one gesture, a brief moment, but an intriguing insight into what this designer can do when she steps outside her accustomed genre.