September 07, 2013 New York
According to Ostwald, she and partner Ingvar Helgason riffed on the work of Sean O'Malley, an artist so obscure Google has no record of him. Maybe the designers made him up, in which case their creation is a seventies-era Dadaist who used toys in his art and was a major hidden influence on Jeff Koons. (Or—who knows?—maybe it's all true.) At any rate, a motif that looked quite a bit like a Koons balloon sculpture showed up as a pattern on jacquard, as well as on a semi-risqué T-shirt appliqué. Elsewhere, Ostwald and Helgason elaborated on that motif by developing fabrics for their pleated skirts that were woven to resemble the skin of a balloon blown up taut; the effect was kind of like a textural dégradé, and the pieces were very cool.
The remainder of the collection, meanwhile, advanced Ostwald Helgason's trademarks—the bold florals, the trim tailoring, the sporty elements, the stripes. There was enough development in all those areas, and enough pop in the pieces themselves, that the consistency didn't read as boring. And you'd really have to be a Grinch to be bored of fun, wouldn't you? One wonders what Sean O'Malley would say to that.