OK, yes, you can see me beaming with pride right next to the wall at the finale of Emily Muller because Muller is a dear friend. She made my wedding dress and I produced her first presentation last year. Now that the obvious disclosures are out of the way, I also had nothing to do with production of this collection in any way, other than the occassional pep talk.
Opening The Tent with Muller was the best thing possible. Those who were on the list and missed it, or sent interns to cover for them, really missed what I believe will be one of the most wearable and concise shows that we'll see this week. The energy was high and despite the sweltering hot tent, everyone seemed to remain cool despite some seating issues.
Now on to the important stuff - the clothes. That's what this is all about after all. Muller's spring collection "Escape" was heavily influenced by parachuttes - silks, straps and an actual parachutte used as a train -quickly snapped away backstage for dramatic effect - for her final "bridal" look. Muller still has that touch of Victorian romanticism mixed with a sense of adventure that those familiar with her aesthetic are attracted to. Her clothes are all handmade and her use of practical yet luxe fabrics is both deliberate and executed. There is a beauty in the simplicity of how she pulls a striped cotton together for a well draped dress or skirt without looking deconstructed.
Her colors remain fresh - lots of whites and dove greys along with muted yet vibrant teals, navys and mustards. It is unfortunate that the makeup wasn't as spot on. A bit too much white/light grey eye shadow up to the brow that didn't translate well on all of the models. Almost every look was fancifully topped off with millinery from Muller collaborator Maxine in Trousers. Aviator caps, turbans (obsessed), headbands and chained headdresses - all a delightful touch that really completed the looks. Even the shoes made sense with each look with their slightly worn-in woven leather and short heel.
Muller may be the only person I've seen in Boston who can pull off pants, although a little more of a taper on some could have taken the few clam digger-like looks to the next level. Her short are cool girl sexy-without-trying- a little off the hip and loose - and paired with retro bikinis or flowing crop tops. The jackets came out in two varieties - first as billowy silk shrugs kept closed by leather straps, then as actual jackets in heavier fabrics with details varying from pin tucked sleeves to leather paneling. The silks were technically more forgiving in their movement where the heavier jackets seemed to fit a bit big in the shoulders and sleeves.
There were a few loose jumpsuits, a brave look that is often hard to pull off, that are reminiscent of post-war Hollywood starlets who were not afraid of pants (think: Dietrich & Hepburn). The dark teal jumpsuit was easily the best done, perhaps because it was the most neutral color of the jumpsuits, but more because the harem-style finish of the leg. My personal favorites: an assymetrical mustard skirt with a paperbag-style waist and a white chiffon dress with sheer sleeves and leather pull in the back. This collection was clear, concise, and most importantly - wearable. She took risks (jumpsuits, bikini tops) without missing a beat and remained consistent with her detailing, both in the leather straps, shapes and technique. Muller's strongest points are still her loose fitting dresses that leave an air of casualness while still looking refined. Tell me, what girl wouldn't want that?
After the jump, take a look at a few choice pieces...
All photos by Daniel Gagnon Photography via Facebook