Nanette Lepore is rather known for bringing bright colors to the runway. Last season, it was red. Season before that, blue. This evening, though, as shadows were beginning to grow long across Manhattan, Ms. Lepore hit us with her brightest, boldest color yet: lemon yellow. I reached for my sunglasses. Seriously. They were necessary. There’s bright, and then there’s blinding. The first piece down the runway, a fairly simple smock dress, was, by silhouette standards, nothing to bizarre or amazing. Yet, there was a distinct murmur across the crowd and they recoiled not in horror but from the apparent presence of a small sun on the runway. Ouch.
This is a delightfully simple, comfortable, loose, and attractive line of clothing. Tunics and sun dresses and smocks were sprinkled with modest swimwear, off-the-shoulder shifts, sleeveless lab coats (in pink), and bustier detailing on a few tops. Complicated? Not in the least. Trendy? Absolutely. In fact, I’m willing to predict that this may be the best selling Nanette Lepore collection yet simply because it is so comfortable, so accessible, and is going to work for a very wide variety of women.
What’s missing here is diversity. There’s the yellow, and some powder blue, and some peachy pink mixed in with some black and white touches. Most the ensembles are solid colored, but there’s a modified paisley, the stripes, and another more abstract but tasteful print in pink. Lepore provides variety in how she deftly mixes those different elements together, but she never wanders off task. There are a couple of cut outs, waist lines are high, and the finale piece is long, loose, and flowing. Sound familiar?
Is there anything here curious? Anything that doesn’t work? No, not at all. No surprises. Solid tailoring, stylish, trendy, perfect for summer clothes. Even the shoes, block heeled, open toed, strap booties, are colored to match the ensembles and just add to the cute factor.
Well, okay, there was one strange moment right at the very end. Rather than waiting until the end, Ms. Lepore led her models out into the runway in two lines. Then, joined by her family, they all proceeded to conga. All of them. The models didn’t seem to be getting into the dance all that much, but Ms. Lepore and her husband certainly were. Even that strange moment, though, made more sense than the Opening Ceremony stage debacle across town, so everyone went away happy.
Nanette Lepore is another collection that is very well suited for the Midwest in terms of value, style, and aesthetic. We need that bright yellow on our streets and in our offices. We need styles that don’t require being in the gym three times a day. Nanette Lepore is good for the Midwest. Let’s hope the Midwest is good to her.
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison