September 07, 2008
It's been ten years since Catherine Malandrino founded her label. In that time, she's opened nine stores (with a new creative retail concept about to bow in Los Angeles), expanded categories to include accessories and home, amassed an ever-growing following, and, in short, built a solid fashion business. The designer optimistically named her anniversary collection "Dawn." As she's cleverly done for a few seasons, Malandrino stayed true to her crafty core with loads of tactile details for the eye to drink in, including scalloped lace, appliquéd tulle, and quilted leather. New for Spring, she explored the idea of layering fabricsspecifically a nude tulle over lace or satinthat worked nicely to add an interesting layer of texture. That said, a fishnet overlay fell flat. The designer is reissuing the flag dress she found fame with a decade ago, but it was another nod to Americana that provided some necessary wit here: a lace-printed silk gown featuring the Statue of Liberty.
Though it's clearly what her clientele responds to, Malandrino's craft parade can easily threaten overload, and it did so here with a backless jeweled top that seemed to be little more than a hunk of embellishment with straps, as well as a gown with a neckline of gob-stopper jewels. That's why one simple standouta white pointelle gownfelt like coming up for air. A few more opportunities to do so might not be a bad idea.