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Zac Posen Simplifies for Spring

Also: Neoprene!

You never leave a Zac Posen show thinking, “I may as well have just looked at the photos online” (which is something I think more often than I’d like). Posen does it old school — an intimate show at his studio (which just relocated from Tribeca to the Upper East Side) with guests seated in chairs on the same level as the “runway” so you’re up close and personal with the clothes. There’s no fancy formation — just tall beauties sauntering down, giving more attitude and sass than we knew models were capable of giving, thanks to his excellent casting choices including his favorites Anna Cleveland and Coco Rocha.

This season’s collection leaned towards the classic and simple (which perhaps made the models' attitudes even more palpable). According to the show notes, Audrey Hepburn served as a point of inspiration. Only three colors — white, red and black — were used. Posen’s cocktail and day dresses were particularly architectural, with meticulously shaped bodices. The beautifully constructed eveningwear Posen is known for was less voluminous than usual, but his column gowns are no less glamorous than his princess ones. We were especially fond of a few off-the-shoulder cocktail and evening numbers (though I personally am partial to this neckline in general): Even a red pants look with an off-the-shoulder blouse gave Lupita Nyong’o’s Ralph Lauren Golden Globes dress a run for its money.

While the shapes were pared back, the fabrications were interesting, like a neoprene-bonded crepe and an eyelet-embroidered cotton.

With this collection, Posen showed that he can do modern, understated glamour just as well as that whole big Charles James thing. We can’t wait to see this stuff on the red carpet, perhaps on front row guests including Kiernan Shipka, Uma Thurman and, hey, maybe even Whoopi Goldberg.

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