The starting point for Araks Yeramyan's new collection was Hawaii, at night. Why? According to the designer, just because. The same reasoning applied to her decision to marry her tropical florals and surf and scuba motifs to Edwardian-inspired silhouettes. But once Yeramyan had made those arbitrary but not ill-advised decisions, she got rigorous. The Edwardian reference mostly made itself felt in the collection's raised and dropped waistlines; the jackets and coats with lifted buttons and pockets looked very smart.
The Hawaiian theme, meanwhile, was elaborated in every conceivable way and perhaps more robustly than necessary. The magnified wave prints and tropical florals were very good, with the floral in a combination of green, brown, and cobalt blue making a particularly strong impact. Elsewhere, Yeramyan had some nice riffs on Hawaiian shirts and high-necked rash guards, and her incorporation of wetsuit-inspired zippers, seaming, and color blocking was well judged. Where things got a little iffy was in all the surfboard-inspired detailing—there were dresses patterned to create a board shape in the front, trousers with finlike hems, and so on. The idea was clever, but it could have been handled with more subtlety. As it was, the recurring surfboard elements made the collection as a whole feel a bit forced. Given that Yeramyan produced such a serene and unself-conscious collection last season, the overdetermination here was a bit disappointing.
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