September 06, 2008 New York
The best pieces were made of washed silk charmeuse or georgette in exciting brights and color combinations the two haven't used before. (The ultrasuede pieces, particularly an ill-conceived and ill-fitting long skirt, were less convincing.) As they tweak their label's image, Costello and Tagliapietra said, they wanted to bring more of their own personas into the mix. They pulled this off with humor and much (nonflannel) plaid, which they whipped into sexy dresses, and by sending each of the models out with an initialed anchor tattoo inspired by the partners' own.
By contrast, their other stated inspirationsthe seamy side of the seventies, sex clubs, Scorpio Rising, The Night Porterseemed to be superimposed on the collection via heavy-handed styling: the leather cap, the suspenders, the Vaselined faces. OK, we get it. Harmless role-play? Sure, but it distracted attention from the clothes, which deserved the lion's (or in this case bear's) share of it.