From our previous coverage: Part II
As in previous seasons, the Ports 1961 Fall 2009 collection both honored and elevated its source of aesthetic inspiration -- in this case, the jeweled richness of India's Mughal dynasty. While the collection's vibrant tones of ruby, gold and copper recall a regal heritage, they also remind us of the fiery warm colors of autumn. We have come to appreciate the Ports 1961 shows as standout aesthetic presentations that blend rich creative visual concepts with sound. A traditional dhol drum and brass band scored the show and helped to transport viewers to another reality.
While the collection was a celebration of color, it was also rich in texture -- jewel-toned, metallic fabric shone against matte wool, cotton and velvet. The silhouette was loose, graceful and relaxed. Long coats and maxi dresses were fitted through the torso with full, long skirts. Relaxed wide trousers with loose draping folds and tassles were paired with dolman sleeved blouses and jackets. This same soft draping was echoed in scarves and collars in jeweled tones. The looks were not all loose and flowing — tailored long vests, day coats and sheath dresses hugged the body. The forms of traditional saris and were recalled in the draping of several dresses. Tapestry carpet bags and clutches and quilted ballet slippers complemented the looks, but our favorite accessories were the wood-heeled, suede booties.
Not all of the collection is vibrantly colored — several looks in pale "moonstone" and white had a more subdued shimmer. A suite of looks in fuschia and another in gold lame added a modern rockstar touch to the collection. We especially liked the long sleeved, short skirted fuschia and red dress — simultaneously bohemian, romantic and modern.
We are consistently impressed with Tia Cibani's range and creativity, and eagerly look forward to her next collection. Since September is a long ways away, we'll settle for visiting the recently opened Ports 1961 boutique in the Meatpacking District. -- Julie Yee.