February 10, 2012 New York
The other idea Bartlett took away from Mmm was its play of light and shadow, a theme she worked through in a variety of back-to-front color-blocked pieces, such as a longish dress draped with shiny plum-colored jersey in front, and matte cream-colored jersey in back. The light/shadow meme also meant that Bartlett adhered, even more than usual, to her palette of neutrals—alongside her traditional skin tones (looking very fresh, at present), she showed a lot of white, silver, gray, and black. Less traditional for VPL, there were a lot of dagger-hem leather jackets and mannish coats on the runway; the leather, it turned out, was faux. But it was totally convincing.
The real winners in the collection, however, were this season's knits, in particular Bartlett's shrugged-on, oversize sweaters in mottled bouclé and marled wool, and the dense black sweater, fitted to the body, with knit-in braid and armored shoulders. The knit emphasis was reaffirmed in the show's finale, which included a plethora of elaborate garments that should see a lot of editorial action come fall.