After several seasons showing couture, Rabih Kayrouz
debuted his ready-to-wear collection a year ago. With today's outing, Kayrouz seemed to find his voice as a ready-to-wear designer, translating his architectural sensibility into realistic, appealing clothes. The knits were the obvious standout here—in particular the sweaters with an unusual, magnified rib on the bodice or sleeves—and Kayrouz's slit skirts came a close second. Knee-length, with a full shape, they had been razored between pleats with a surgical precision. That sort of technique can easily come off messy, but these skirts looked sharp; they were also surprisingly modest, given the length of leg on display. And there was another kind of modesty, too, in Kayrouz's rather simple silk gowns and knee-length dresses; fluidly draped and banded at the waist, they were just very attractive, nothing else. Although some of the other looks here were a touch mannered, those dresses and gowns proved that Kayrouz is a designer who knows when to leave well enough alone. That's a promising omen.