This was Maiyet
founder Kristy Caylor's big debut after the departure of former designer Gabriella Zanzani. It's been two years since the label began showing in Paris, and tonight's outing—held in a rarely seen inner courtyard of the École des Beaux-Arts—qualified as a moment. The questions on everyone's mind: Can Caylor take Maiyet beyond its artisanal, ethical fashion origins? Can she make it a relevant part of the fashion conversation?
Judging by the white shirtdresses that opened the show, Caylor has a canny sense for what's news. Her shirtdresses, naturally, come with silk embroidery done by hand. Proving do-gooders have a sense of humor, as well as a nose for trends, she stamped a couple of pieces with block print messages. A “No future without forgiveness” miniskirt walked by (that's the name of a Nelson Mandela book, by the way), and a few looks later, out came a dress with the slogan “No goats on the loom.” (That, in case you were curious, is a reference to a problem pet that belongs to one of Maiyet's Varanasi weavers.) The strongest argument for the label's relevance, though, just may be the slipdresses. They're one of the key pieces for Spring '14, and Maiyet had some of the best, chief among them a peach silk version whose embroidery turned out not to be embroidery at all, but a shibori dyeing technique done on a scale that was almost minuscule. It was beautiful. Another slip came in navy blue with an understated stripe of silver embroidery below the bust—just enough to elevate it above the everyday. So, back to that key question, can Caylor make Maiyet interesting to women for whom ethics don't enter the shopping equation? After tonight's performance, our answer is yes.