September 11, 2005 New York
The opening look on Ekaterina, a diaphanous white baby-doll dress with lace trimmings, set the mood for the lingerie-inspired looks that followed. A pale palette was dappled with tea-stained tulle blouses, with rosettes and lace insets, matched with slim skirts. Yellow, peach, and pale-pink dresses mingled among the designer's self-designed floral chiffon prints. All were adorned with corsages and pinwheels of ribbon work and asymmetric hems. The white, crochet-front bathing suits with shirred backs had a forties fabulousness, and the petal dresses just before the finale were simply charming.
This season, Stuart's obsession with vintage and artisanal techniques proved to be a winning combination, since it meshed well with spring's emphasis on decorative handicrafts. Despite some misses, Stuart's overall idiosyncratic aesthetic fit into the bigger picture. All of that intricate, hand-done ribbon work, Irish crochet, rosettes, and corsages added up to a collection that was refreshingly consistent and will boost her fan base on both sides of the Pacific.