The hush began even before setting foot inside the Seagram Building to attend The Row show on Monday. The early morning start, on a national holiday no less, left the city streets empty and show guests contemplative as they waited to ride up in an elevator to disembark on the bare bones 35th floor of the iconic building. The only adornment being the stunning view from giant windows that looked out onto a forest of other glass and metal buildings surrounding the show space.
The geometric beauty of those man-made edifices, along with grid patterned notepads left on each seat, suggested that designers Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen might be in a graphic mood.
Instead, the duo paired their already minimal esthetic back even further. Showing pieces in single shades, usually black or white, that had a zen-like austerity about them. The long silhouettes, the lack of adornment — if you discount the bags a few of the models clutched protectively to their chests — and the easy shapes pushed to the foreground the rich textiles the designers employed. For example, a simple change in fabric from a matte to a glossy material transformed a white shift dress into evening attire.
This was another collection filled with understated beauties. Sometimes the duo smartly added a wide obi-like belt into the mix to bring a touch of rigor to all the fluidity. But there was the purity of purpose in each ensemble.
There were times when the minimalistic nature of this collection pushed the show into the realm of loungewear, the slide-on slippers helping to perpetuate this notion. But switch those shoes up for a pair of killer heels, add some statement jewelry (people who can afford The Row should have quite a bit) and top it off with a power bag and this collection would hit the sweet spot of style and substance.