The raw stripped back top floor of 52 Mercer Street in New York was the perfect backdrop for designers Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's latest The Row collection.
There the crumbling brick walls, warped wooden floors and impressive ancient metal skylights underlined the beauty of a world devoid of artifice. It's a place that The Row always likes to call home.
This confident collection shows the twin designers masterfully exploring the power and precision of volume. Catching and releasing noble fabrics like organza hand silk poplin, silk shantung, honan and linen with a skill that belied their still youthful brand.
The enraptured audience devoured the sumptuous use of textiles the duo put on display. Particular as there was not a zipper, button or snap fastening in sight. And the only motif to appear on the ecru, golden, navy and brick shaded garments came courtesy of the sunlight streaming through the grid patterned skylights.
The monastic tent dresses, full sleeved shirts wrapped and tied tight to the torso and the voluminous tunic tops all had a graceful purity of form. Even the new bags the designers debuted in the show were immaculate in both form and function.
As the models walked together one last time down the catwalk for the finale, a random thought flickered though this reviewer's mind: Christobal Balenciaga would have loved this collection.