Heritage is key to the Bill Blass
brand, and this year's setting, the tony Union League Club, provided the blue-blood mood. (In the elevator on the way up, Karlie Kloss, who closed the show, said approvingly, "I like this place.") The clothes followed suit. Backstage, when pressed about inspiration, Jeffrey Monteiro said that, as always, he turned to the considerable archives when putting together the collection. Stripes stuck out, and Monteiro headed in a nautical direction. "I'm never too literal with a theme," he said, but the maritime bent was strong. The palette was navy and white, with a few head-to-toe looks in red and yellow, and a Bill Blass logo had been tweaked to look like an anchor. It's hard to imagine that insignia looking right anywhere other than a yacht club, and most of these outfits will have to be pulled apart for a life on the street.
As for the looks, they ranged from preppy to party (as in cocktail, not house). Well-cut blazers closed with shiny gold buttons, which also ran down one shoulder of a lustrous white cashmere knit. Racerback tanks had long hems like men's dress shirts; in triple-ply georgette, they were elegant layering pieces—much nicer than your average tank, but still sporty. The pair of beaded yellow gowns that closed the show—one a simple T-shirt shape with a low back, the other a slinky column—were bright and easy. They looked gorgeous as they were: no jewels, simple sandals, exactly the kind of modern effortlessness women crave. Although, in the case of the last dress, it could have been the Karlie Kloss effect. That girl looks good in anything