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When asked what his inspiration for the collection was, Michael Vollbracht noted that “Mr. Blass is always on my mind and in my head” as he designs. And certainly one cannot say that Mr. Vollbracht, who was a very close friend of the late designer and knew his work very well, does not do his homework as he scours the archives. All the familiar themes were touched upon: red (there were items like a knee length belted red double face cashmere coat and a silk chiffon floor length halter gown), well tailored pinstripe pantsuits worn with silk chiffon blouses (which appeared to be cut closer to the body this season), little black dresses, (best was a simple pleated wool crepe and silk version), sequined and beaded cocktail dresses, heavily embroidered knee length evening coats (which were unnecessarily accessorized with small fur pieces), and the requisite beaded gowns. And nothing could be more ‘Blass’ than the offhanded pairing of a plaid silk taffeta full skirted shirtdress with an embroidered cashmere cardigan, or the mix of a crisp white shirt and black cashmere cardigan worn with a voluminous floor length in black and white embroidered faille. However, the perfectly nice collection seems to be just that- an interpretation of Bill Blass, rather than being the powerful individual vision of a designer.




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