September 12, 2004 New York
Each season, Stuart plays with embellishment and accessories to update her shapes. She was on trend with her use of smocking and pleats, wooden wedges, and groovy belts worn at the natural waistline, but her decorative motifsrunning from metal studs to a star-printed fabric, to Carmen Miranda fruit charms, to appliquéd pieced-cotton flowers on denim and chiffonwere less focused. The strongest pieces, as usual, were her dresses, like a belted polka dot number with a keyhole neckline. And putting chiffon dresses over lamé bathing suits is a clever way to deal with transparency, as well as the right thing to wear to a pool party.