NEW YORK, United States — Precise execution is the name of the game for Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and this season’s presentation once again confirmed that they are winning. Guests were invited into the Carlyle Hotel’s muraled Bemelmans Bar, where each table was stacked with a tiered pastry tray and slim white matchboxes embossed with “The Row” and the address of their East 71st Street store. Models moved through the space quite deliberately, stopping now and again in front a cluster of tables to make it possible to take a longer look.
The designers' season-over-season progression was illustrated best in their narrow, elongated silhouettes, which were more sculpted and molded, like a double-face waistcoat dress, or a trench made of ultra thin, almost crushable leather. It was all styled back to their signature plimsoll in black and white, the name scribbled delicately on the outward facing side of the shoe.
While their monk-like fraying-edge gowns are elegant, one icy blue number, its collar strung together with a tubular bow covered in ruby red satin — and another hooded with a layer of chain mail — showed that they could take their ideas for evening further.
Where the designers really succeeded this season was in day wear. One of best looks was an elevated painter pant that hit the hip bone. Paired with a ribbed white tank, it hinted at fashion's future: a shift away from the high, cinched waists that have dominated the zeitgeist for so many seasons. Sometimes minimal can be directional, too, especially when it’s done just right.