On a dreary, drizzling September day when summer's end is painfully felt, Steven Alan's Spring 2012 presentation gave us a much-needed dose of color.
The collection bears Alan's Americana stamp, invoking a '60s slightly preppy beachcomber with his signature suit-style separates offset by chambray accents, playful prints (see a baseball player-printed frock) and straw hats. Fall's muted, West-Coast-canyon palette was amped up to bright citrus hues and tennis whites inspired by the watercolors of artist Alex Katz.
The collection--set against a backdrop of layered paper replicating Katz's paintings--was full of painterly hues like oceanic teals, lemon yellows and juicy tangerines bringing to mind both the East and West Coast: A chambray-and-white pairing unmistakably recalls California, while the pastel plaids of a calf-length shirtdress worn with loafers would look more at home in Nantucket.
It's American sporstwear, all right, from the blazers down to the boxy silhouettes. Alan's foundation of the button-down shirt has become less literal as he progresses; here, he's playing with subtleties--see the open or cut-out backs of the women's frocks and T-shaped tops-- while retaining that stolen-from-the-boys femininity. Or, as Alan describes his fictional muse: "In my mind it's always the girlfriend of the guy, who is she and what is she wearing?"