September 12, 2011
A few days before their show, Mark Badgley and James Mischka explained that they were putting more shape into their clothes, creating a new, more structural silhouette. Fabrics with heft, like linen, shantung, and brocade made an appearance; although they shared the runway with jersey and chiffon, there was, relatively speaking, less swish than usual. Less swish, but more bows. Dresses came adorned with them throughout, from the big one across the shoulders of a purple, open-back shift with sparkling cap sleeves to the neat one that closed the pink belt at the waist of a long, tiered gown. If the bows weren't distracting, the palette certainly got your attention. A to-the-knee tulle-and-chiffon dress with a full skirt and beaded bodice popped in bright lemon. And a pair of teeny-tiny tap shorts from the Mark + James collection, pieces of which were mixed in with the main line, was pink and sparkly; up top, a staid linen top kept anyone from blushing too much. An emerald leather Mark + James motorcycle jacket was another made-for-cool-girls item, and it was very cool. It came draped over a turquoise swimsuit, but throw it on top of one of the closing gowns—the nude georgette with tiny embellished pleats was the best—and you'd have a look with an edge.