new york autumn winter 07/08

Bill Blass
by Marilyn Kirschner

This was Michael Vollbracht's most successful show for the house of Blass since he took over as head of design... Through the well edited, upbeat, quick paced collection of 48 pieces (and an extra 10 little black dresses as a finale), he came close to capturing the mood and spirit of the late Bill Blass. He touched all the right notes and hit all the familiar signatures.

There were the familiar menswear inspired gray flannel pinstripe pantsuits, short coats worn over dresses for both day and night in neutrals and brights (for day and night), and sequined entrance making gowns. More imporantly, the way the clothes were put togehter... mixing day and night, masculine and feminine, sporty and couture, was at the heart and soul of Mr. Blass. The standouts were the colorful collarless short easy coats worn over short jersey dresses, a menswear inspired green double faced cashmere coat with back belt worn over a plum wool jersey dress; a forest green 'corduoyed mink' coat thrown over a moss green cashmere sweater dress; a Halston-like (his words not mine) black cashmere collarless short coat paired with a short black and ivory sequined narrow dress; the yellow matelesee jacket with enormous fisher cuffs, worn over a menswear striped trouser; a sable lined olive satin anorak paired with a cocoa gold sequined dress; the group of bright satin short coats worn with 'Norell-like' sequined sheaths (one in particular was lime green lined in orange and was shown over a navy 'Norell-like' sequined sheath). The finale was 10 'Little Black Blass Dresses" in homage to the designer who though he said rich women don't wear black... made some great little black dresses nonetheless.

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