Elie Tahari looked to the past — the ancient Egyptian past — when designing his spring line. Like an archaeologist, the Israeli-born designer revealed harem pants, a selection of gold leather and metal skirts, chunky gold belts and filigree gold metal gladiator sandals that rose up to the knee. Many of the outfits had an utterly serene quality — long, loose layers in sun-bleached shades — clay, sand, faded yellow and the occasional coral or a beautiful sky blue.
He leapfrogged to the early 1900s (think Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa”), to create tunics and other belted tops or jackets, evoking the hourglass silhouettes that were popular at the time. He even straddled the two periods with ensembles like his shantung double-breasted blazer topping a pair of sheer, filmy harem pants.
With so much pale, pale, pale, the few colors really pop, like the tinge of blue in a (modern-looking) feather vest, silk blouse and snake-print shorts, or a bright-orange mesh top worn with faded coral print pants. Dressing for hot weather, these ladies looked cool.