NAHM Spring 2012: Belle du Jour
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.