September 27, 2008
Last season's experiment with menswear plaids didn't play to Anne Valérie Hash's greatest strength, which has always been a feminine way with draping. Spring finds her on more familiar ground, wrapping the body in the style of ancient Greece by way of Alix Grès. Toga dresses that fell fluidly from twisted straps were among the show's best pieces, and she applied the same relaxed, almost louche mentality to jumpsuits, which she's been crazy about since well before they came into vogue. Too many of them, though, came with see-through chain-mail bodices—apparently, she's also adopted the Greeks' laissez-faire attitude toward nudity.
In the midst of all that softness were a few structured pieces: a round-shoulder jacket shown with trousers burdened by superfluous straps from hip to ankle, and a handful of far simpler and more successful little dresses. One came in a dusty violet leather pieced at the bodice to cling to curves, and two more were cut in gorgeous, watery Rothko prints with net insets at the back. The collection was hit-or-miss, but it was a marked improvement over Fall.