For many, the initial draw of the debut NAHM
presentation was Ally Hilfiger's involvement. But upon entering the studio at Milk, it quickly became all about the clothes. The former "rich girl" joined forces with Nary Manivong, a designer known for his solo line, to create a collection based on the shirtdress. The pair (NAHM is a remix of their initials) took the concept and ran with it, updating the classic style with modern silhouettes and fabrics. A clay-colored take with an uneven hemline had one long sleeve, leaving the other shoulder bare, for example. And a more straightforward, A-line version was cut in a double-faced cotton that looked like leather at first glance.
Hilfiger and Manivong cited "The Raven" as an influence, and there was something very Edgar Allan Poe about a Victorian-inspired wool crepe number with a delicate mesh inset. The designers elaborated that the raven also symbolizes "a void in which energy is transformed." Hilfiger and Manivong definitely transformed their fashion cred here. The only lingering question is: How many times can you reinvent the shirtdress?