February 11, 2014 New York
The best pieces were those influenced by Wool. Hartig screen-printed a beautifully cut black pantsuit to look as though it were covered with streaks of acid-orange and yellow paint. A classic white and vermilion skirtsuit in the same series was another highlight, as was its men's counterpart—cut-off shorts and a blazer rendered in black and white.
Hartig is a wizard when it comes to mixing clashing patterns, and he took this skill to new heights, pairing almost every look with electric, gridlike tights (a Richter reference, presumably), kaleidoscopic socks, and patchworked T-strap pumps trimmed in a zebra motif. The combo made for a visual explosion and agreed with everything from herringbones and plaids to the designer's signature crystal-covered wares. Somehow, those stockings even elevated Hartig's screaming-loud, multihued mink coat (though, to be clear, the topper would have been thrilling on its own, too).
As much as there was, the collection would have been better with less. Hartig's abundance of plotlines was difficult to take in. Distracting extras, like a disjointed floral story, a matronly black maxi dress, and a witchy crocheted fringe-trimmed frock, made it hard for his many successes to shine. A bigger focus on those great separates, and fewer outerwear options, would have been nice as well—the seventeen coats on today's catwalk went overboard. Hartig's over-the-top aesthetic is what gives Libertine its charm. But when it comes to the collection as a whole, less clutter and more cohesion would have made it all the stronger.