September 04, 2008
Before the sighting of a single look, it was abundantly clear from the mosaic-patterned runway that Nicole Miller planned to unabashedly indulge her love of prints for Spring. When it comes to faraway inspiration, Miller is a frequent flier. This season's sartorial trip took her to Haiti, where the brightly plumed exotica of voodoo caught her eye. One quirky print even featured rows of voodoo dolls, and others echoed the tiny tiled look of the runway. To avoid getting carried away with a theme and a total prints-travaganza, Miller grounded the magical with the practical, as seen in terrific menswear-inflected piecesat their best in boyish tailored blazers, made new with outside seams or by being cut in a decidedly unstuffy chalk-stripe linen. These paired well with the many newly ubiquitous cropped, slouchy trousers, as well as shirting that glimmered with a hint of gold thread. With so much color and tomboyish kick, this was an optimistic collection. You could barely fault the designer for the conceptual exuberance in awkward dresses that looked like suiting wools twirled around a man's shirt, or the overly dramatic sculptural winglike necklines on some gowns. After all, every trip leads to a few souvenirs that make you wonder what you were thinking.