"I'm a tomboy in a tutu," Marissa Webb
said backstage at her show tonight. Now in her third season, Webb is becoming known for combining masculine and feminine elements in her collections. Nothing summed up her backstage talking points quite like the look in which she layered a ruched net party dress with a silk button-down and tie, but there were other examples. A fatigue jacket topping a ruffled frock, a floral-print dress accompanied by another one of those blouses and ties, a crisp black blazer over a lacy white camisole and miniskirt (Webb is a big believer in the mini for spring). All her years at J.Crew made Webb a convincing mash-up artist. They also honed her sense for what sells. A cropped black leather and wool jacket had dollar signs all over it, and the same goes for the bouclé tweed jackets inset with leather. Another item for the plus column: her denim jeans, which suggest she's a stickler for fit.
The transition from a presentation format to her first ever runway show didn't go off without a hitch, though. Webb did her own styling, and the truth is, she could've benefited from an outside voice. Someone to warn her off the ankle straps buckled over pants, which was a small issue, and to edit a few of the collection's outliers, which presented a bigger problem of focus. First to go should've been an asymmetric dress and matching tunic in a hazy abstract print. A stylist is easy enough to find before next season. In the meantime, those little jackets and jeans should prove to be solid building blocks.