Last season, Barbara Tfank
created a few of her own prints for the first time; Fall saw her plunging headlong into graphic-design mode. The Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy, who designed stationery for Paul Poiret and textiles for Bianchini-Férier, was Tfank's guiding light. She produced a series of bright floral frocks with him in mind, including an off-the-shoulder dress with a pleated skirt that looked great in a morning-glory print of bright green and aquamarine; a nipped-waist long-sleeve dress in emerald, navy, and claret was also sweet. Tfank's conservative silhouettes may not appeal to most twentysomethings, but a subdued black silk crepe sheath looked supremely sexy on the model Damaris Lewis. (Sure, she models for Sports Illustrated
, but the point is that Tfank's creations go great with curves.)
Another happy by-product of Tfank's print compulsion was her increased awareness of texture. "If I do something with black now, it has to be really special," she said. A midnight plissé taffeta dress with bodice-enhancing ribbon detailing fit that description perfectly.