September 12, 2005
"There's a lack of communication between you and me," blasted the disco soundtrack at Bill Blass, and perhaps it was a more prescient statement than intended. This disconnect has been a persistent problem for the past few seasons, and creative director Michael Vollbracht has struggled to find a balance between revisiting the rich Blass legacy and establishing his own identity. For spring, Vollbracht took a few forward steps, showing a retail-ready collection of fine proportions (neat bodices over fuller skirts) that was young and fresh, but not so much so as to alienate his more mature customers. What was off-putting were the cutesy runway antics of three blond models who vamped shamelessly for the cameras before swaying back down the catwalk hand-in-hand in Bardot-evoking gingham dresses. It's doubtful that Mr. Blass would have approved.