The prize for most stunning presentation venue this season must be awarded to Catherine Malandrino. Despite an ominous looking sky, she perched her models outside on pedestals surrounding the Paul Milstein Pool, just north of the main tents at Lincoln Center. The presentation was fenced off, but approximately a zillion gawkers swarmed through the area trying to get a peek at some fashion. Or models. Or celebs. There were a lot of all these things.
Hamish Bowles, in a trench coat stamped with images of giant eyes, strolled around the pool. Kelly Rutherford and (I think) Jessica Szohr ran around taking silly pictures with the models, who didn’t seem that amused. Two off duty models in the audience commented, “The girls look really cold standing up there. I hate presentations.” Kristin Cavallari was fending off giggling girls snapping iPhone photos. For spring, Malandrino was influenced by the south of France and ceramist Roger Capron. The pieces, heavy on macramé and tie dye, evoked an artsy-craftsy feel, and were refreshingly different from the simple neutrals that we've all seen a lot of this week. The best pieces were the draped flowing dresses and tops; an orange one with sari-like finishing was a standout.
The macrame pieces were a bit heavy-handed, but a cream column dress was stunning. The woven knee high sandals were visually interesting but looked like a big fat hassle to deal with on a daily basis. (Perfect for posing on a pylon, though.) The simple flat ones, on the other hand, may find a place in my closet this summer.
The bohemian vibe was carried through the big chunky stone jewelry and woven handbags. The crushed straw hats were slightly too fedora-like for my taste, but I have to admit the casual quality of them worked well with the looks.
Lincoln Center in the middle of September on a cold misty afternoon is pretty far from the south of France in summer. But not for Malandrino.