September 08, 2004 New York
Michael Vollbracht, now in his third season as Blass's creative director, opened with a lacy strapless sundress accented with a brown grosgrain ribbonnot earth-shattering, but certainly pretty. Such dresses were the collection's strength, from a demure white piqué A-line dress to refreshingly sexy bra-topped gowns. To his credit, Vollbracht has made Blass a regular on the red carpet in the past year, and this season's crop of telegenic eveningwear will certainly appeal to all-powerful celebrity stylists. But unless they're done young and tongue in cheek, those blocky wool crepe suits with prim cuffs and collars will come off more prissy than polished. Vollbracht is moving in the right direction, but a dose of unbridled passion would add a welcome edge to the house of Blass.