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Skaist-Taylor's sexy, '70s (& subterranean) debut

A model wearing a look from the Skaist-Taylor

A model wearing a look from the Skaist-Taylor Fall 2012 collection, shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Feb. 11, 2012) Credit: Handout

Okay—Skaist-Taylor, the hotly anticipated new line from those Juicy Couture gals, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor…(hence the new name)…pulled off the best show of the season. Um…too soon to call? Maybe, given that we have Marc Jacobs’ show coming up tonight.

To be clear, they’re not winning a Best In Show trophy (prematurely like this) for clothes alone, but the overall vibe pulled off…in a parking garage, of all places!

First, let’s talk location. The two held a presentation in an underground parking garage beneath Lincoln Center, with just a few massive video screens. So oversized images of models in Skaist-Taylor clothes served as backdrop for the actual parade of models…in Skaist-Taylor clothes. Very meta.

The spare digs and the subterranean locale gave the impression that we were all up to no good—that somehow, Pam and Gela didn’t have permission to do this at all and we’d better have at it fast before security kicks us out. Music—lotsa ‘70s classics pulled together by Duran Duran’s John Taylor (Gela’s hubby)—pulsed and the models strolled out as if vaguely looking for where they parked their car.

Now the clothes—a haute and hobo mix of ‘70s paisley maxi dresses, liquid lamé minis, a sweet pumpkin knit dress with puckered skirt, and sleek, flared trousers (yes, even a discreet track pant), all in  shades of bleached winter-sky blue, orange, and black and white. Finishing touches included python bags and booties with ankle straps, big medieval-looking rings and huge honkin’ linebacker furs.

This is California luxe—a casual mash-up of mostly lightweight gear that you might’ve pulled from your (very cool) grandmother’s attic. Let’s face it—it’s not for everyone (being as tall as, say, Venus Williams, will help when wearing the dusters and prairie skirts with long trains). But given that the co-founders here are the same ones who dreamed up Juicy—the label that was at once crass, kitschy and cool, and ushered in a revolution of brand-my-butt sportswear—the possibilities for this new, higher-end line are endless.

All in all, a strong open by two women we’ll want to hear more from.


 

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