“Why shop?” If Tomas Maier has a design mantra for his eponymous collection, it might just be that simple question. The lineup he presented for Pre-Fall in his showroom today was long on basics. Why shop for those? Because Maier imbues his basics with special details. An hourglass jersey shift boasted a row of tiny, brushed-brass studs below the neckline; the surface of a denim shirtdress was oiled for a leatherlike sheen; and chunky ribbed sweaters in drapey shapes came in dry cotton or four-ply cashmere. Three seasons in, the collection is both bolder, with zippy pops of color, and looser—not in terms of fit, but of sensibility. Those brass studs grew and multiplied on bright velvet jackets, and silk dresses nodded back at previous decades, like the collection’s snub-toed oxfords—not quite retro but certainly nostalgic. Alongside the more whimsical fare, there was a cotton poplin shirt with such a spot-on fit that customers at Maier’s new Madison Avenue shop have taken to buying it in multiples. A baby blue shearling coat was a real knockout.

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