Sometimes clothes can just be a little too pretty. It's a fine line, and Tocca
designer Emma Fletcher earned a devoted following for her old label, Lyell, because she was so intuitively good at landing on the right side of it. This season, though, she over-sugared the mix. The collection was a riff on off-duty ballerinas, a rather sweet reference to start out with, but one that Fletcher spun in a streetwise, New York City-in-the-seventies direction. A few of the ensembles seemed to have wandered off the set of some never-made Scorsese film about a dancer—the fluttery crop top worn with a pair of golden yellow cigarette pants, or a pale blue and white pleated midi skirt and sheer knit tank. But that dancer character never really cohered: One minute she was a cutie-pie in a stars ’n’ clouds-print romper; next, the second coming of Jean Harlow in floor-length bias-cut dresses patchworked with lace. Those dresses were very appealing, and there were several other appealing looks, too—the pintucked blouses, for instance, or that pleated trapeze dress with a sexy dive in the back, or the lipstick red jumpsuit with a ruffled sleeve. Plenty of commercial viability here, then, but the point of view was wanting.