Rachel Zoe – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
Rachel Zoe deserves some props. The über-stylist-cum-reality-star-cum-designer stepped back, took stock, and made some big changes to her eponymous brand. For several seasons the lineup had begun to feel hackneyed, trading on a few well-trod signatures like the Bianca Jagger tailoring and the Studio 54 gowns. And from someone well-known for a decadent, gypset aesthetic, it frankly didn’t feel very special. But from the moment you arrived at Zoe’s Empire State Building showroom this week, it was plain that something was different for Resort. Fabrications were amped up, giving her fans a nice mix of the aspirational (a floor-grazing cranberry-hued suede coat) and the attainable (lush satin blouses). If in the past some of her nods to her favorite decade have felt a touch costumey, here they came to life as more sophisticated propositions, like long tuxedo vests and spruce outerwear. You don’t need to be an industry insider to realize that there’s a dearth of great gowns for less than a month’s rent, so it was particularly savvy of Zoe to build out evening options like a maxi with intarsia-knit hothouse blooms and an ethereal number in gauzy gold metallic. Here’s to Zoe’s newfound momentum.