September 10, 2005 New York
With quiet assuredness, the duo introduced crinkled silks, crepes, and georgettes into their typically all-jersey world and showed a greater variety of separates. Shawl- and draped-collar jackets, some with contrasting Petersham ribbon trim, were paired with slim trousers with slot seams and pleated skirts. All of it was handled with their typical skill, but as welcome as these additions were, the dresses and gowns were still the standouts. Pale "watercolors," painterly shades of clay, beige, gray-green, bone, yellow, and lavender, unified the collection. Individual detailing was what set them apart, like shirring at the shoulder bone, a bow tied at the back, a keyhole slit, or a cinch. The gowns left as much of an impression going as they did coming, since each one had rich detail in the back. The most dramatic of the lot had ribbon straps that plunged into a V and met a petal of fabric at the waist.
What was most remarkable about the show was that it escaped both the Grecian undertones typically attached to draped jersey pieces and the overt references to Jean Muir or Madame Grès. Instead of floating like deities, the models swished by with the assurance of mortal goddesses in the twenty-first century.