February 09, 2012 New York
Her collection, pithily called Wrap, expressed the idea by layering various textures, both tactile and slick—an art at which Giberson excels. It came across best in looks that were covered up neck-to-toe, like a white knitted lamb vest-cum-scarf draped over a sequined tunic and lean but fluid bias-cut skirt, or a similar iteration, a cobalt satin puffer scarf with handy pockets and mohair tunic. But the scarier unknown comes from without: thus the attendant idea of protection, which took more literal form in a silver-plate harness bib—a collaboration with Jill Platner—but also in the city-girl armor of black tailored jackets and leather leggings.
It's easy to forget that Tess Giberson existed in a time we'll call P.P.S. (pre-Proenza Schouler), when the likes of Susan Cianciolo and Tara Subkoff staged arty fashion shows with clothes that had a hazy future beyond the downtown venue they were shown in. It's a testament to her that she's still here, and thriving. (She reports that her newest stockist is Saks Fifth Avenue.) What's interesting is how Giberson has nimbly managed to structure her business so that her new contemporary status doesn't preclude selling special pieces like the great cable sweater inset with chainlike crochet at a designer price. Even if this collection was missing some of the crisp viewpoint of her Spring show, it was still evidence that progress chez Giberson continues apace.