The Alessandra Rich
look is very, very specific: Rich makes fancy clothes in essentially one long and lean silhouette. She uses lots of lace and is a fan of the ruffle. Given that Rich's aesthetic is so narrowly defined, it's really quite impressive that she manages to refresh it each season. This collection was a case in point: Riffing on Rumi's love poetry, she conjured a vaguely mystic vibe, with a whiff of seventies boho to it. The most immediately appealing looks were spangled with stars; others somehow defied you with their charm, including a high-necked, multiply ruffled pastel floral gown. In another designer's hands, those same elements would have come together looking like something a Lawrence Welk backup singer would have worn once upon a time, but Rich made it work. For the right woman, anyway—these clothes are not for everyone.
Elsewhere in the collection, Rich stretched her vocabulary a bit by introducing dresses that looked like long, lace polo shirts, and others with a salwar kameez feel, which were worn over sheer silk pants. Another innovation: dresses that looked like two pieces, a crop top and a skirt; in fact, they were joined together by a narrow band of nude-toned tulle. It bears saying again: This tactic could have gone badly wrong, in a Dancing With the Stars
kind of way. But Rich made the stars dance for her instead. God knows how.