Fashion Ticker: Ports 1961, Betsey Johnson, Ohne Titel

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The New York Sun

PLAYFUL PROPORTIONS Tia Cibani’s spring collection for Ports 1961 was inspired by Canadian artist Emily Carr (1871-1945). Titled “Beloved of the Sky,” the collection was strong on linear silhouettes and pleated details, as well as plays on proportions. A three-quarter-sleeve caribou lace jacket was draped with extra material. Several outfits, such as a sleeveless cape dress, hid the female form entirely. Ms. Cibani’s use of crochet knits and yarns, along with a base of neutral colors, inspired thoughts of organic living and the great outdoors. Brighter color appeared toward the end of the show; a sultry red, open-back dress with an industrial nude buckle belt was a head-turner.

The addition of ribbons made some outfits nearly unwearable, as in a silk skirt covered in thick purple trim. This was not a collection that could be called “practical.” But it was a pleasure to watch as the Cowboy Junkies performed live during the show.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Betsey Johnson was all about theatrics at her storybook “Betsey Betsey Land” show on Tuesday. The spring-summer collection was broken into a circus act of five parts, or chapters, and even included a line of bridal gowns. (And all the “brides” wore handcuffs as they traipsed down the runway.) Hoopskirts were plentiful in Ms. Johnson’s collection, as were rompers, polka dots, and ruffles. A mad pirate throwing gold coins and chasing girls appeared before the “Hooks & Crooks,” “Stolen Treasures,” and “Robbed Royalty” portions of the show, which included pieces bound for high school, such as a black denim miniskirt with copper buttons. The “Wendy’s World” group started the show and had the most color. A hot-pink corset minidress covered in dark pink polka dots was flirty and fun. Ms. Johnson came out before the show — toting a rubber ducky no less — as well as at the end. The collection had its wearable pieces, and its totally outrageous garments, too. Many outer garments resembled undergarments but, as usual, the crowd was left smiling.

In a season marked by recurring themes of long, fluid silhouettes, a change is welcome. Enter Ohne Titel’s collection of fitted ankle pants, draped cardigans, and cropped jackets. Designers Alexa Adams and Flora Gill kept a simple palette of gray, celadon, and white, adding an equestrian feel with detailing in the shoulders. A white sheer layered dress incorporated an angular skirt and was indicative of the glamorous line, which made heavy use of Swarovski crystals over sheer mesh paneling. The collection had a lightness with its use of plaited silk and cotton. Knitwear in the form of multicolor hand-plaited dresses at the end paired with Swarovski-encrusted leggings was a welcome finale.

The New York Sun

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