February 12, 2012
Just as they did at their first-ever runway show two years ago, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen accessorized their latest collection with flat ribbon sandals. Their clothes have both remained the same and evolved in beautiful ways. The sisters still believe in monochrome dressing; this season they used black, navy, ivory, and a range of browns. They still love the look of a clean, unfussy silhouette. It doesn't get any less complicated, or more elegant, than a strapless cotton-silk cady away-from-the-body dress with a slash pocket high on the torso. And luxury remains an essential part of the brand DNA. On several of the looks they treated fur as a textile, using mink as a bib trim on a bishop-sleeve chiffon blouse, or "knitting" a ribbed sweater from the stuff (actually, the fur was sheared in panels to create the ribbed effect). A double-face hammered cashmere coat with alligator trim and pocket details was equally plush—not flashy in the least, but nonetheless quite special.
Asked beforehand for some words on the new collection, Mary-Kate said, "It's about a feeling, really." Two years ago we called that feeling "utterly simple and anonymously chic." Now, we'd add serene, even timeless. Chaste is too strong a word, especially with the sheer black chiffon, so we'll stick with refined.
Bonus points, then, for the setting: the historic Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel, complete with live piano accompaniment and breakfast goodies on every table.