September 09, 2013 New York
The references for Spring came from far and wide. There were visions of Arabia in the long layers and the models' veils, Northern Africa in the printed djellaba, a fishing village in the macramé sweater and matching cross-body hobo bag, and Russia (maybe), or some other cold clime, in a dense wool coat with a quilted bib. That coat and another that appeared to be constructed from a woven rug looked too weighty for real-life wearing, but the rest of the collection was notably light. The white top in crinkled georgette worn over a twisted bandeau and a snakeskin wrap skirt could've been spun from air. Just as alluring was a sleeveless black dress in leather laser-cut so finely it looked, upon first glance, like it was lace. And while we're on the subject of wow factor, we should bring up a coat made from perforated shearling. Not many other New York designers are doing this kind of couture-like work.
This was a tranquil, transporting show, but one that was also firmly grounded in the here and now. Case in point: the show's sublimely understated loafers and mules, commissioned by the Olsens from the Bologna, Italy-based cobbler of handmade men's shoes Enzo Bonafè. It's the first time Ashley and Mary-Kate are offering shoes, and they'll be sold in limited editions. The Row's fans would be wise to put their names on the list now.