After Camilla Stærk
saw Patti Smith live a few months ago, it led her back to Smith's famed Mapplethorpe portrait, and in short order, Stærk was waist-deep in the photographer's work. "I've always loved his pictures," said the designer at her joint presentation with her friend, menswear designer Victor Glemaud. "They're so strong but still so sensitive." That's a pretty apt description of Stærk's 14 Fall looks, which merged the tough edges of black leather, mesh tank tops, and a general sense of naughtiness with lace, tweed, and ladylike polish. A black, sleek leather-look jersey shell was inset with lace. A properly soigné high-waisted pencil skirt was paired with a sheer corset. Even the lovely aluminum floral brooches (from Japanese designer Shinji Nakaba) that were pinned on both lean gowns and motorcycle jackets played the strong-yet-sensitive card. Every season has seen Stærk deepening her moody, dark signatures, but the new elegance here is a delightful evolution.