For Fall, Jill Stuart
was inspired by Heidi Specker's photos of the Black Forest in Germany. "I love how she views nature architecturally," the designer explained backstage before the show. This reference came across in the collection via color-blocking in a palette of vibrant autumn hues—currant, teal, cognac, and emerald. And there was a more literal interpretation of the enchanted-forest theme with whimsical owls and foxes screen-printed on to-the-knee silk shifts and exaggerated cap-sleeve blouses. On that note, Stuart also showed several of what she called "Bambi" deer furs (printed on rabbit); a belted tunic that hung open at the sides was particularly notable. The string of metallic frocks featuring a complex mix of sunburst and plissé prints had an Art Deco vibe and should appeal to Stuart's girly customer, particularly the bright salmon number worn by Anais Pouliot. But one of the coolest looks in the collection didn't have lots of bells and whistles: The drop-waist dress with a pleated "lipstick" suede skirt and leather cognac bodice stood out, showing that Stuart knows how to stay ahead of the curve.