's Kristy Caylor has been contemplating Frida Kahlo portraits. Not so much the surface of the canvases, she reported backstage, but the act of Kahlo painting them—of taking "a look inside." That idea formed the basis of a successful collection that explored and exposed the creation process. Silk dresses, for example, were printed with dots or embroidered with small round studs in punch-card patterns, the kind used to guide weavers using handlooms. One coat was constructed with a black shawl overlay; underneath it, the lining was an exquisite jacquard—no mere lining at all. Later, that jacquard's diamond pattern was redone as beading on a delicate dress, the sheer tulle of which provided a look inside at the model's patent bra and seamed leggings.
That's a lot of backstory. The good thing is, you didn't need to know a lick of it to find things to admire here. Patent leather chosen for its mirrorlike qualities (you need to see yourself to make a self-portrait) didn't quite jibe with the craftiness of the rest of the show, and the sheer pieces were a bit weak, but those looks were in the minority. Re-created as a print on silk, knitted into a handmade sweater, or quilted on coats, that diamond motif gave the clothes a rich, graphic sensibility. Maiyet is barely three years old. As the ethical fashion brand continues to put down roots, that sensibility will be its selling point.