September 07, 2008
Tia Cibani, raised in Vancouver, was inspired by the totem poles of the Pacific Northwest, and the lovely live soundtrack for her Ports 1961 runway show was provided by her fellow Canadians the Cowboy Junkies. It was easy to forget, if only for a minute, that we were in midtown Manhattan. With an eagle eye for layering, Cibani kept the long-tall lines suggested by her theme versatile. Skirts in cotton tulle over silk slips looked particularly nice, the best done in a lovely crocus shade of purple; lots of tucks and pleats were incorporated to add horizontal interest. The colorful, rubberlike ropes of fabric on a skirt and dress or two were probably a misstep, and a burlap fringe (which, like a totem pole, will probably always look a little out of place in New York City) weighed down a few other looks. The rest of the collection was light and airy: A tighter edit would have kept the focus on the pieces that were truly beautiful and unusual.