Cibani's sketches // Courtesy WWD.com
Like water trickling through a stoney creek, models at the Ports 1961 presentation on Thursday flowed down the runway in true, angelic fashion, their eyes a kabuki-esque red, with hair neatly pulled back into a quiet bun.
The designer of the line, Tia Cibani, was clearly influenced by traditional Japanese garments, displayed in natural, serene, airy fabrics and colors - with the occasional strike of red. Cibani's inspiration was the idea of craft meeting innovation, which was definitely achieved. From the Zen-style rock garden at the start of the catwalk to the not-too-precise, origami-like details on the garments, the Ports 1961 Spring collection achieves a look that's noticeable, but not trying too hard.
Ports 1961 Platforms (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Accessories ranged from highly organic to highly synthetic pieces. Some of the dresses and jackets featured in the presentation were cinched with a wide belt at the waist - be it clear or fashioned with complimentary fabrics - reminiscent of the traditional Japanese obi. This gave structure and foundation to otherwise airy fabrics such as organza and silk. Sweet woven envelopes and wooden box clutches and were matched up with textural, ivory frocks and jackets. Sheer, loose, white gloves reaching to, or past the elbow were paired with sleeveless and kimono-sleeved garments. The shoes included serious platforms, topped with intertwined and knotted leather rope in a variety of colors, and light-colored, mesh flats - a refreshing change from the myriad of towering, unwearable foot fodder typically endured at Fashion Week.
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The silhouettes were simple, easy, and manageable with great attention at the waistline. The shapes are meant to flatter and elongate, while the more voluminous pieces do a great job of highlighting at least one womanly feature, be it the arms, legs, waist, or decolletage.
Garments included in this collection are typically wearable, and I could definitely see women wearing them right off the runway, and onto the street. The contrasts of wild texture and silent color creates a dichotomy which is definitely alluring. The clothes are cerebral and sensual without being abrasive. The interesting details of each piece establish its artisan touch, while the simplicity of the fabrics make each piece subdued enough to attract eyes without demanding them.