"Whenever we go out, people always ask us where we got our clothes," Robert Tagliapietra said of the genesis of his and partner Jeffrey Costello's collection this season. "So we decided to feminize the pieces we make for ourselves." The duo certainly have a trademark look (they were Brooklyn lumberjacks when today's hipsters were still in high school), the rugged masculinity of which has always made a charming contrast to their soigné womenswear. This season's outing didn't move too far into masculine territory (if you're curious, the models were not
kitted out in bushy beards), but Costello Tagliapietra
's personal staples—like plaid work shirts and chunky cardigans—were very much in the mix. The plaid had been blurred and printed on loose tops and semi-sheer, buttoned-up blouses, and the cardigans came slim, long, and sleeveless. Worn open and belted, they ensured that even the dressiest dresses, like the draped, bright pink, floor-length one that closed the show, were low-key.
The drawback of this season's easy silhouette was that some of the pieces had an awkward fit. The designers' aim was to trace the body—not cling to it—while still creating slim lines. They succeeded in creating simple, lovely shapes, but a few of the looks, like a crinkle-treated cotton dress with a wrap skirt, were too ungainly to flatter. But ultimately, Costello and Tagliapietra (obvious proponents of uniform dressing) created a neat body of separates for well-dressed women to throw on and take their kids to the park—they even provided carabiners for your keys. The collection would also work just as nicely at dinner in, say, the backyard of someone's brownstone. Nothing wrong with that. Leather shoes and handbags, made in Greece, were a new addition for the label, and they provided a touch of structure amid the slouch.