Is Victoria Bartlett picking up cues from Lady Gaga and, more recently, Ke$ha? The sheer volume of briefs-as-pants the designer turned out for Fall is a strong argument. Or it could just be seen as classic VPL
(which stands for "visible panty lines," remember). Whatever the reason, underwear-as-outerwear was an even stronger than usual focus for Bartlett this season. In addition to her classic color-blocked underpinnings, she showed a patchwork bodysuit with cutouts, gold sequin bandeaus, and a flesh-toned spandex crop-top-and-biker-short combo. That's not to say the models were sent shivering down the runway. Most were swaddled in some kind of enviably cozy topper—a pressed faux-fur sweatshirt, say, or a metallic wool cardigan. "For me, it's always about things that are falling off, splitting apart, and being put back together," Bartlett said when interviewed in her studio the week before her show. Case in point: some sliced jersey dresses with slipping shoulder straps and open backs (too open, perhaps—it's tough for those of us without catwalker proportions to imagine wearing said numbers outside the house). Still, in a crowded fashion-week schedule, kudos to Bartlett for creating her own distinct look. And amid the variety of today's offerings, there was something for every girl—even us non-models and non-pop sensations—to slip into.