Misha Nonoo likes to refer to her woman as a “naughty square.” And the designer’s own naughty square tendencies were on full display at her Friday afternoon show, where she sent bearded Brooklyn artist Dustin Yellin strutting down the Spring 2015 runway—casually sipping an iced Starbucks, no less—in a halter-neck shirtdress rendered in a print based on one of his works.
It was a crowd-amusing moment, to be sure, but it also drew sharp attention to Nonoo’s collaboration with Yellin. “I’ve been inspired by many artists in the past, but this was the first time I’m actually working with one,” she said backstage. Nonoo, who met Yellin three years ago, said she was drawn to his sense of scale and texture. To help illustrate her inspiration, two of Yellin’s works—large structures made of individually painted layers of glass—were on display right outside the venue.
To create the collection’s prints, Yellin’s pieces were photographed from the side, and in some cases, magnified. These colorful, almost abstract designs—rendered on a georgette shell, a skort, a drop-waist dress, and more—dovetailed nicely with last Spring’s florals, helping to further define Nonoo’s visual identity. (To add to the buzz, a long-sleeved tee from the collaboration is currently available to buy on nifty new shopping app Spring.)
It was important to Nonoo to keep the rest of the collection streamlined, so she made the Yellin-less looks monochromatic, with either very short or very long hemlines. (No wishy-washiness here.) Sashes and ties were a big thing, decorating the hem of a mint-green mini slip dress and the waist of a pair of purple silk wide-leg pants. Laced-up pointy flats and sandals, a collaboration with Aldo Rise, drove the idea home. But what might’ve been most surprising about the collection was its slightly racy appeal, thanks to miniskirt lengths and deep V-necks. Obviously, naughty squares can be sexy, too.