Sometimes Pre-Fall gets a bad rap, but the sales-driven, in-between season might just be Sally LaPointe’s secret weapon. “I used to be more focused on the runway, but now I love being able to design really awesome, wearable clothes,” she said. (LaPointe’s biggest retailer, Bergdorf Goodman, initially encouraged her to embrace the pre-collections.) The designer’s inspiration took shape when she was staring out the window of her Chinatown studio. “I started taking color and texture references from the streets, thinking about a neutral palette with pops of color,” she explained. “But I also saw people walking around in their real-life, day-to-day clothes, so I wanted to show the lifestyle behind our brand.” LaPointe honed in on easy, unfussy pieces with day-to-night appeal, like ribbed turtlenecks, wrap-front skirts, and stretch-leather tops. Even the familiar shapes felt luxe—an oversize “T-shirt” with an asymmetric hem could stand up to the bevy of silk blouses out there. The collection also revisited pieces that sold well in the past, such as her sweaters from Fall ’14, here served up in a pale-gray rayon version with rabbit sleeves. Another standout was an exquisite double-face wool coat with glossy black pony sleeves. LaPointe showed an expanded range of mix-and-match daywear, which will be icing on the cake for her customers, who typically return for “alternative eveningwear” like cotton-sateen pants and backless jersey gowns. Perhaps the highlight of the collection was a silk gazar ball skirt printed with a trompe l’oeil heather-jersey pattern. Paired with a basic cropped sweater, it was sophisticated, unexpected, and totally effortless all at once.

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