February 10, 2014 New York
While Assoulin's creations exude pure drama, they also convey a certain ease. The designer aims to make dressing up in a ball gown feel like wearing sweats, and vice versa. She underscored this notion of elegant insouciance by pairing many of the looks here with casual Superga sneakers (courtesy of supportive pal Leandra Medine, who collaborates with the Italian footwear brand). Meanwhile, a luxe cashmere knit set was elevated with the addition of a sweeping maroon sash. Assoulin also introduced a menswear influence into the mix with classic Prince of Wales checks, which appeared on a slim column skirt as well as a floor-scraping, tailored topcoat. Other standouts illustrated the designer's calculated craftsmanship. The vibrant rainbow of streamers draped over a strapless black number, for instance, were created with forty hand-stitched godets. And the statement-making finale gown was pieced together from more than two hundred strips of multicolored velvet and heavy silk to achieve its playful, candy-stripe effect. "Technically speaking, it's super-exciting to do stuff like this. It's like she's wearing a canvas," said Assoulin, who proved her potential with this strong outing.