If there was ever a case for opposites attracting, it's NAHM. For their sophomore collection, designers Ally Hilfiger and Nary Manivong produced an intricately crafted line--again, based upon their shirtdress foundation--that ran the gamut from floaty delicate cotton shifts to woven silk cocoon dresses that.
The inspiration was Belle du Jour and the Parisian ex-pats who traveled to Laos in the '70s, which Manivong and Hilfiger explored through four themes: repression, exploration, freedom and rebellion. It's interesting to note how the different techniques of the two designers meshed. Nary's Laotian-American roots are evident in the traditional Laotian prints used in silk drop-waist and bell-sleeved dresses while the wispy white cotton frocks clearly bear Hilfiger's feminine touch. Though these looks might seem contradictory, the close attention to detailing creates common threads: each shirtdress and button-down is restrained by a sharp triangular collar while those with more of a T-shirt cut bear large bows. The result is a girly yet louche style that will be a definite hit among the younger urban set.
The line is definitely a work in progress, but it's the the kind you're happy to watch grow and find it's wings. Manivong and Hilfiger together have serious potential. Though one could make the case that this collection is a bit scattered, there's no denying the high quality workmanship and the effort they made to tie it all together. The feminine cuts create a unique take on an old staple and it's great to see such collaborative storytelling. This is definitely a label to watch.
**All photos courtesy of NAHM