In the serene oasis of the (newly renovated) Monkey Bar, a posh midtown watering hole, Jeffrey Monteiro unveiled his second collection for the Bill Blass label. The line has stumbled a bit in past years, after Blass' departure (in 1999) and death (2002). It's been a revolving door of young creative directors since, each unable to tap into that alchemy of fabric, vision and buzz necessary to reinvigorate the grand old brand. Monteiro's work indicates that he, at least, seems on the right track.
The collection bridged the gap between classic looks required by long-time Blass wearers of Beekman Place, and a more youthful edge. If anything may entice a younger clientele to the brand, it would be a series of fiery red ("When in doubt, wear red," Blass once said) jersey dresses, one a high-necked halter that hung loooow in back and provided pockets and a train. Others revealed sexy cut-outs along the back or sides.
Cold weather may require the floor-length navy twill coat with long slit up the back. Or there are graphic black and white numbers (like the georgette top with flared pant). Here's hoping we see Monteiro next season.