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This Is It: Tia Cibani's Breakthrough Collection

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    There's a moment in some designers' lives when they break away from a brand and become themselves. It happened with Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis, with Reed Krakoff at Coach, with Stella McCartney from Chloé. For Tia Cibani, this collection was the one to really separate her from Ports 1961 — and what a freeing moment this was.

    Inspired by a trip to Mexico and the ladylike, exaggerated shapes from the '40s, Cibani's spring '14 collection really cemented her POV: richly textured, organic shapes and materials, made with a homespun spin. It's a sensibility that sets her apart from the other indie-quirky NYC designers, and has produced a collection filled with pieces that are thrilling to wear but aren't in the least bit scary. Amongst a collection filled with signatures like asymmetrical hemlines and necklines, Cibani also experimented with all-consuming volume, which were more playful than somber. An obvious woven yarn motif and Frida Kahlo-type braids and brows really drove the Mexico theme home, but we most loved the simple sheath dresses and trousers with cheeky patchworks that'll help us creatively interject some whimsy into our work outfits (without the fear of getting pinged by HR).

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