February 11, 2011 New York
Let's start with the coats. The quilted khaki storm trench that opened the show has the X factor that will make it a popular personal order item with editors. In this era of influential street style blogs that really means something, and there was more solid outerwear where that came from. Knits were another big component: They ranged from a utilitarian ribbed sweater dress to Fair Isle cardigans inspired by Wauchob's own roots to a delicate black crochet skirt made by nuns in Africa. She has spent a good amount of time there in the last year recruiting craftspeople and researching factories; the company, which was founded by Ali Hewson and Bono, remains committed to its fair-trade principles even as it continues to grow under the aegis of LVMH. But it wasn't Africa that inspired the prints that make up the collection's third important element—it was Romany culture. The dense, abstract prints that appeared on a gorgeous ruffled silk scarf dress, among many other pieces, were lifted from old wallpaper. In the end, though, those details don't really matter. What does is how easily you can imagine this collection transitioning from the runway to the department store floor.