Walking into a room full of Mongolian goat-herder warrior princesses, I checked the program to make sure I was actually at Malandrino. There was nary a flirty Parisian frock in sight.
Instead there was leather. Goat hair. Long printed dresses. Chunky tribal jewelry. At the back of the room were two chairs made out of horn and goat hair. I heard someone say, “God, those chairs are nasty looking.” Apparently those chairs were the inspiration for Catherine’s collection. With a few exceptions, the results were far from nasty.
The intricate leather jackets came in a variety of shapes, from tight and shredded, to loose and embossed. Leather also showed up as an accent on dresses, and I got a glimpse of traditional Malandrino ruffles, albeit in leather, on a short dress.
All of this leather was anchored by wool harem knickers, almost identical to the ones I saw at Alice+Olivia Saturday night. The drapey asymmetric batik dresses were crowd-pleasers, and looked so effortless.
The goat hair posed more of a problem for me. It provided some interesting texture, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to touch it.
Accessories were a stand-out. The double platform shoes, particularly a stingray pair, were versatile yet interesting. Catherine told me that she wanted them to be “hoof-like.” Necklaces were made of hammered silver orbs, repeating horns, and big natural stones.
A few sequined pieces at the end of the line-up were pretty but felt out of place with an otherwise tough collection.
Genghis Khan, you’ve met your match.