There was extra cause to be rooting for Gabriele Colangelo
today: With a new production deal recently signed, he'll have a much easier time making and delivering his collection if and when U.S. retailers come calling. They've been sniffing around the designer for a few years now; unfortunately, this wasn't a show likely to make them bite. Riffing on the artist Laurent Segretier's distorted photographs, Colangelo manipulated materials so they shaded from matte to shiny, opaque to sheer. He kept the silhouettes fairly straightforward, borrowing memes from the military and menswear, but his experiments with fabric felt clumsier than usual. It's not only that he has used a lighter touch in the past, but also that this time he combined the tech fabrics with woven textiles shaggy with fringe. Combinations like a hand-loomed wool tee trailing loose yarns and a glossy, almost slick pair of trousers just didn't click. Meanwhile, Colangelo seems determined, despite much evidence, that women will want to wear stiff nylon mesh. We didn't buy it when he used it for the sleeves of a pre-fall fur coat, and we're not buying it now as a viable option for pants. The direction he should head in next season was suggested by the simplicity of a black coat in a high-tech nylon so glossy it could've been patent leather.