Chalk it up to his family's background in fur, but Gabriele Colangelo
can't get enough of texture. In the past, he's lifted surface details from painters, Gerhard Richter included. For Spring, inspired by a quick trip to Japan, he riffed on the three-dimensional quality of raku pottery. Colangelo transformed its lacquered swirls into graphic jacquards; he tucked and pleated leather to re-create its curving seams; and, most luxuriously, he replicated its patterns in sheared mink. It's a tribute to his light touch that it didn't all come off as overwrought—as his collections sometimes have in the past. Slim silhouettes, notably a bib-front sleeveless sheath (gorgeous in sapphire blue), helped matters. So did the clothes' uncomplicated, almost geometric shapes, influenced, Colangelo said, by kimonos and samurai uniforms—see the sleeves of jackets, widest at the elbow, and the pleating details on cropped hakama pants. With Colangelo's devotion to texture, pieces like an unadorned sleeveless black silk dress with a split front seam (it was actually pants) were few and far between. The show could've used more of them. That said, Colangelo seems to have learned from last season's heavy-handed mistakes, and is pushing forward.