At a certain point in Elise Øverland
's show tonight—her show on skates, at the Standard hotel's ice rink—a few doubts began to creep in. Maybe, just maybe, Øverland isn't crazy. Or if she is crazy, maybe she's crazy like a fox. What at first seemed like an eruption of cool pastels, Plasticine textures, feathers, and fur took on a kind of weird logic as the figure skaters from the Ice Theatre of New York twirled around the models standing center rink. Take, for example, the quilted coat in a viscous print, lacquered over with sheen—at first, that coat seemed absurd. And then, under the klieg lights that reflected off the ice, it became oddly alluring. Why can't daily life be as theatrical as a dance on skates? Must everyone wear lovely peacoats and shearling-trimmed motorcycle jackets? Isn't it nice to think there's someone out there—maybe a few people, even—who pines to look a little bit strange? There's bound to be a customer, too, for Øverland's fanciful violet and sea green fluffy fur, and for her tailored leather jacket, with its wink of peplum and glossy pebbles of mottled turquoise fabric.
It's pointless to analyze this show based on trends; this was a collection made for people who stand outside time and inside their own very particular taste. Chances are, no other designer this season is going to use Øverland's bubblegum palette, which she developed especially because it looked good against ice. Chances are, no other designer this season is going to stage a show on an ice rink. This collection was insistently well-wrought, and perfectly mad. Right around the time Johnny Weir took to the rink for a virtuoso solo, you had to figure: Øverland likes things this way.