February 07, 2011 New York
One of the best sellers: a black batwing top with columns of gold sequins that channels Zoe's favorite decade, the seventies. A good deal of the new line is reminiscent of that era; not so much drapey, crepe-y disco-ready numbers, but instead sharply cut tuxedos and flared-below-the-knee pantsuits worn with bow-neck silk blouses. "She's very Charlie," as the perfume ads used to say. In addition to that tailoring, outerwear is one of the wide-ranging collection's strengths. Convincing faux furs—everything from the ubiquitous fur vest to a peacoat/parka hybrid with fur trim—shared space on the rack with a leather-tipped, toggle-closure camel cape that nodded in the direction of Bonnie Cashin.
Zoe is a vintage fanatic, and she makes no bones about going into her own closet for inspiration. Last month's presentation stirred up a little Internet brouhaha when it was revealed via Twitter that one of her new Fall dresses is almost identical to a vintage dress she styled in a Teen Vogue editorial several years ago. "I've been subconsciously building this collection in my mind for a long time," Zoe says now, adding, "There are a million vintage pieces that have inspired me, and every other designer in the world." And Zoe is taking the designer thing very seriously. Resort 2012 is already wrapped up, she says, and she's hard at work on Spring when she isn't prepping what Anne Hathaway will wear when she takes the stage as co-host of this year's Oscars. Spoiler alert: It won't be Rachel Zoe. "If you're gonna use couture," the multitasking mom-to-be says, "it should be at the Academy Awards."