Anne Valérie Hash
January 22, 2006 Paris
Perhaps this methodical designer simply threw her usual caution to the wind and added too much that's new to her. Balloon dresses and skirts, Marni-esque tweedy jackets, flower prints, and beaded pieces looked foreign on her runway, and when she looped fabric into hitched-up bunchy volumes, the effect was saggy and overcomplicated. A good buyer could no doubt extract pieces, like the green, perforated-leather yoked bomber, along with some of Hash's signature scrappy lace dresses, and make them look fine in a store. But this collection lacked the distinguishing stamp Hash has so far managed to put on her work. There's nothing wrong with branching out, of course, but next season, Hash needs to determine how to move forward without sacrificing the identity her fans have come to recognize.