by Ranjani Gopalarathinam
April, May, the latest fashion outing from former Paul & Joe designer Diane Sitbon, is a polished womenswear and accessories collection that refuses to be ordinary. Bringing a fresh brand of modern femininity to the forefront, the collection aligns itself with the season's more childlike, playful vibe: a blouse's embroidered detail, a thoughtful tuck in a shorts cuff, and bright, bold prints. "I love a woman with a good sense of humor and self-derision," says Sitbon.
Godard's classic 1963 film Le Mepris cast Brigitte Bardot's curvaceous, calculating character as an ultra-feminine contrast to the liquid carelessness of her male counterparts. Bardot, along with screen icons Catherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn, characterize the quintessential April, May woman to Sitbon, implying a wide range of silhouettes in her clothing that disclose a woman's youthful, sexy side.
Tops and bottoms balance each other with imaginatively constructed shapes and pop with a colorful pocket trim or geometric overlay. A simple but irresistable shift dress with a single ruffle skimming the bottom boasts a glamorously oversized floral print, giving the right amount of punch for day or night. Sitbon's attention to detail makes each piece easy to wear alone or partnered with unlikely counterparts: eyelets and Bermudas, checks and chiffon, or crochet and pleats.
"She twists her hair with a pen and says so greatly 'Diamonds are tacky under 40,'" says Sitbon of Hepburn. "I would love to hang out with a funny woman like her! And there's so much of that sense of fun and attitude in these clothes, too."
April, May is available in New York at Bird, 430 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, (718) 768-4940 and La Dolce Vita, 149 Ludlow Street, 212-529-2111.
The new line April, May from Paul & Joe alumna Diane Sitbon turns the street-chic city girl into an ingénue at heart.