September 27, 2007
The Derercuny program notes explained that designer Mina Lee had "embraced geometry as the inspiration of a sensual and refined femininity." Loosely translated, that meant she used large origami-like crowns as decoration on her dresses and jackets. Fair enough. Even Dolce & Gabbana embraced artfulness this season, and origami has certainly been in the air. But Lee's theme eventually got the better of her. The streamers of bow-tied ribbons that decorated some pieces, waist to hemline, or that functioned as underskirts or as scarves, were rather cloying. Ditto the oversize petal-like appendages on a trapeze dress. It's too bad, because there were things here to like: an easy, short, boxy black and green color-blocked slipdress; an L.B.D. with a mini capelet that tied in the middle of the chest, creating a neat, nipped silhouette; or a creamy lace bib-front blouse worn with pants that had a subtle jodhpur flair to them.
Lee's sophomore effort didn't pull in as many curiosity seekers as her runway debut did last season. Of course, showing on the morning after Versace unofficially closed the Milan season didn't help. But to hold on to the believers who did show up, she may want to temper her urge to overembellish and instead let her eye for cut and line speak for itself.