Sportif, grunge, a touch of the exotique. Chris Peters and Shane Gabier were inclined toward several different directions this season. It could’ve come across as a jumble; their last collection suffered a bit for its lack of focus. The fact that this one didn’t was a testament to their persistence and, perhaps, the kismet of a new stylist. The designers, who launched their brand in Chicago but are spending more time in New York City these days, found a nice balance between their editorial and commercial instincts for Spring. A black dress with off-the-shoulder cutouts and a pair of sequined racing stripes down the front was followed by a brushed plaid button-down tucked into a simple pencil skirt. Elsewhere, a softly structured almond-colored raincoat with a sculptural tie-neck flourish was paired with a plain black stretch linen shift dress.
The crisp blue and white tile print that began the show looked vivid and fresh, as did the floral-print technical cotton that came later. A backless halter shirt in that fabric worn with a pair of black trousers is exactly the kind of outfit you’d want on a steamy day like today: cool yet effortless. Bra tops edged into cliché territory, but if the designers relied too heavily on them, they made up for it with smart, chic pieces like high-waist, slightly cropped trousers and an asymmetrically draped wrap skirt in open-weave cotton. At the end they showed a knee-length dress with an embroidered bodice. Look past the black and white beads and Swarovksi crystals, and the fabric was a grungy ombré plaid. Fun. Clever.