“Leave them with something to remember.” It was something a mentor said before I had to go to a group interview, but that’s the thought that came to mind as models at the Lela Rose presentation stalked by, the drama in volume of their looks mostly retained behind them. For anyone familiar with geishas, the reference to their obi belts — thick and bulbous in the back, sometimes draping to the ground like in the case of the fil coupe floral top with its trailing train in look 8 — was fairly obvious. But it wasn’t contrived.
The bold, saturated colors and prints that you might expect to see in a kimono were replaced with everything from polka dots and ink wash water-prints to a trio of looks with a stamped fil coupe that you have to feel to believe when it comes to the rippling textures (though there was also ample visual interest as that texture was stamped with a metallic coating).
The silhouette, though it included a looseness in the back sometimes facilitated through a slight high-low hem, stayed utterly feminine. Full skirts appeared throughout as honeycomb mesh monochromatic dresses, an ice blue silk dress with two cut outs, one right above the navel and another dipping into the chest, and, finally, as part of a full length gown of shimmering gold with a dash of sheer and all the right amounts of glamour. Taking a step back, the collection seemed painterly — those sheer panels in the evening gown only filler to brushstrokes of gold material, as well as painted florals in blue, yellow (the asymmetrical dress they appeared on was a winner) and even black and white as with the collection’s beginnings — and copiously inspired. The result definitely was something to remember.