September 07, 2010
"Everything is refined, ultra-refined," said John Patrick at today's presentation. Perhaps it was the effect of having to talk over the din of the fashion scrum. But there was something about the way the designer leaned into his words that let you know he was serious. And then there were the clothes themselves. With all sorts of lovely dressmaker-y details—hand-stitched picot edges on sheer button-ups and tea dresses, grosgrain ribbon waistbands, covered silk buttons—his Spring collection had an irresistible Sunday-best specialness. That's not to say that these are exactly churchgoing clothes. Patrick does a pretty advanced jig between old-timey nostalgia and the sort of forward thinking that encompasses sustainability and other concerns of millennial customers. There was a sure modern edge to white lace pants or a schoolgirl-ish floral pleated skirt topped off with an "oh, did this just fall off my shoulder?" sweater. Patrick described a crisp, unlined linen trench as being "almost from your grandfather's closet." Almost. A minute later, he pointed to a nude-hued pleated skirt in recycled polyester that refuses to wrinkle. "You can literally fit that in your purse and go to a cocktail party," he said. What would Granddad say?