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The Schmooze

Wearability And Styling Clashed At The Hellessy Runway Show

Designer: Hellessy
Date: Friday, February 9, 2018
Location: Pier59 studios
Jewish? Founder Sylvie Millstein is most probably Jewish.

So far, the “more is more” aesthetic seems to be the running theme of the fall 2018 collections.

Historically, the most dramatic and over-the-top fashion emerges at times of uncertainty. The fantastical, Surrealist designs of Elsa Schiaparelli was born out of the pre-war and post-depression era of the 1930s. When the world is going to hell anyway, you may as well be living your best life as it all goes up in flames.

And Sylvie Millstein at Hellessy is no different — her fall collection was filled with florals! mixed prints! color clashing! Weird neckline cutouts whose finishing was at odds with the bulbous, oversized sleeves!

But why is it that everyone’s attempt at maximalism so far have been such failures? It felt like Millstein was reaching for greatness, but that it kept slipping through her fingers, like trying to capture handfuls of water with her palms.

The pairing of red and pink — so revolutionary only a few years ago, felt like a collective yawn today. And those black leather opera-length gloves lended a dominatrix vibe that was just completely unnecessary to an otherwise vibrant, feminine collection.

Many of the pieces just felt fussy and complicated. Extraneous details seemed to be a defining feature of the collection, particularly in a crimson silk wrap gown that had a swath of fringe cut across it.

But aside from the styling issues, some of the individual pieces were beautiful and wearable.

Moiré was a particular standout — as was a herringbone top whose weird cutouts at the elbows actually worked — lending a soft, appealing half moon shape to the model’s upper appendages.

Michelle Honig is the style writer at the Forward. Contact her at [email protected]. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.


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