"Restraint" isn't the first word that typically comes to mind when addressing the oeuvre of Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy. But in a funny way, that was the quality that defined the new Skaist-Taylor
collection. The label is a year old this season, and Nash-Taylor and Skaist-Levy now seem ready to give their vast enthusiasms an edit and focus on what works. This collection emphasized a few key themes—military-inspired outerwear, leather staples, sweater dressing, and, of course, gauzy, boho dresses, skirts, and tops. Within those themes, meanwhile, there was a gaudy variety of ideas—the knit separates, for instance, included both a Chanel-ite, bouclé-like suit, and hippie-friendly fringed alpaca, not to mention some simple fitted dresses that were flirty enough for a party yet restrained enough for the office. Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor remain keenly attuned to the daily life of their clothes. That sense of realism was apparent here in lots of ways but particularly in the fabrications and finishes of the clothes—a black leather kilt was made from pliant, ultralight lambskin; a long Lurex knit dress was woven with a soft wool on the inside to make it comfortably wearable. These designers are also very adroit about how they combine fresh influences with their modern-vintage aesthetic—this season, their line easily absorbed some ruffled georgette pieces redolent of Isabel Marant. Overall, the focus Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor brought to bear on this collection served not only to help define their label's point of view, but to elevate it as well. The clothing was youthful, but not dumb.