Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear
February 08, 2014 New York
"It's the most black I've ever sent down the runway," said Mara Hoffman backstage before her Fall show. That statement was somewhat alarming coming from a designer beloved for her vibrant, original prints, but Hoffman reassuringly followed up with: "The sky needs a black backdrop for the stars to shine." This season, she drew inspiration from Northern Africa—specifically, Moroccan rugs, Egyptian camels, and Bedouin jewelry. And while she filtered several patterns (including graphic checkerboard and engineered star motifs) through a monochromatic lens, they still packed plenty of punch and reflected the collection's more grown-up tone. In addition to offering bohemian signatures such as floaty maxi dresses and caftans, Hoffman also stepped up her tailoring with sharp topcoats, tapered trousers, and a standout, braided silk suit etched in fringe. Texture played an important role here too, with several noteworthy looks featuring allover sequins or intricate beadwork. The finale gown and its dramatic matching veil were covered with thousands of tiny, carefully placed seed beads. Overall, Hoffman's new collection took a sophisticated step forward, but still maintained a characteristic, carefree spirit.