Sass & Bide
February 12, 2014 New York
Many motifs—sheer embroidered layers; a largely black, white, and gold palette; plays on lengths—were familiar from recent seasons. It's probably wise for the Australian designers to remain consistent as they further establish their foothold stateside, having opened their first U.S. boutique in Soho just a few months back. But that's not to say this collection didn't feel fresh. A small group in a blown-up plaid of orange, yellow, and navy played with structure and volume, while what appeared to be taffeta in a big, black-and-white buffalo check had a crisp, classic feel. Those patterned pieces, along with a few others in leaf green, were worn with matching backpacks. Backstage, the black-and-white version begged for city schlepping, but when a model marched by with the green one on her back, hands stuffed in the pockets of her wide, billowing split skirt panels, the silhouette had a rather loud echo of nineties rave culture. While there was a lot for the playful Sass & Bide loyalist here, some of the strongest looks consisted of more solid pieces, like a boxy gold sweater or a rich black faille romper. If anything, the collection would have benefited from a bit more of that substance. Asked about the New York store's effect on designs, Clarke didn't hesitate. "It's certainly making us think about coats."