Without the paparazzi in sight — and just a few fashion photographers perched at the end of a black wooden runway — Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen presented their collection The Row to a small group of fashion insiders on Tuesday.
The small show, held far away from the Bryant Park tents in a gallery space, seemed an indication they wanted the headlines to be about the clothes they designed instead of themselves. It's the same strategy employed by fellow camera-magnet Victoria Beckham earlier this week.
The Olsens, who already were inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America, appeared only briefly at the end to take a very quick bow in front of Carey Mulligan, Chloe Sevigny, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintourand her French Vogue counterpart, Carine Roitfeld.
The clothes were indeed quite serious — and sophisticated. The first model wore a simple black wrap coat that was belted and black trousers with flat gladiator sandals. Most of the collection was black, which has been the norm on many catwalks at New York Fashion Week.
Adding textural interest, though, has been a trick to making all the black more interesting — and the Olsens mastered it. An A-line carriage skirt in a croc pattern was worn with a slim shirt and a delicate spaghetti-strap camisole on top. Another look featured a buttery leather corset over a flowing, asymmetrical-hem dress.
The only other colors featured were a delicate winter white and an ocean blue.
The Olsens' personal style has been chronicled for many years, including a phase of kooky vintage combinations. In their recent collection, one certainly could imagine either one of them wearing the very long black "Valley" dress that was paired with a black tuxedo-style blazer.
Hope they'll pose for the cameras if they do.
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