On the Scene: VPL by Victoria Bartlett

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Amid the half-eaten pizza, there was an unusually calm air backstage before the VPL show, and that's just the way designer Victoria Bartlett likes it. "I prefer this mood, and I love this space," she said of the sunny Bumble and Bumble salon. "There is a feeling of lightness that reflects the theme of the collection, which is parachutes, kites, wind and suspension." With music by fashion week DJ du jour Ben Brunnemer evoking windmills and jellyfish, the tangible calm was finally interrupted by an enthusiastic ovation from front row fashion luminaries Olivier Zahm, Haidee Findlay Levin, Hope Atherton, jewelry designer Brian Crumley who made the exquisite geometric wooden bangles and Arden Wohl who supplied VPL with the headbands (naturally). Out on the runway, Bartlett's spring collection revealed a strong foundation shape minus the finished silhouette. The dueling architecture worked, revealing subtly clingy pieces that could flatter even non-reedy girls. Signature strips of harness held a draping swimsuit close to the body, which then paired with capri pants that had an exaggerated, Arabian swoop of cloth running between the legs. Elsewhere, such as on the collar of a formless shell, rip cords smartly gathered in airy swaths of fabric. Some of the outfits had that messy tumbled-in-with-sheets-and-underwear look, which is a situation we wouldn't necessarily mind.


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