Beautiful details were in abundance at the Spring 2010 show for Ports 1961. This striking collection, inspired by the “ephemeral beauty of nature,” left us breathless, as if we had taken a stroll through a Japanese garden or explored a coral reef teeming with life. Tia Cibani celebrates the natural visual phenomena of color, light, translucency, texture and form in her beautifully constructed, comprehensive collection of fifty looks. While each season’s line is in service to a design concept or locale, the resulting collections are never derivative or simplistic. Rather, they acknowledge the source of the inspiration while creating something original, modern and new.
The collection was broad and diverse and included severe abstract forms along with delicate, fragile constructions. Coats, blazers and dresses exhibited origami-like folds and draping while transparent blouses hovered on the models like a cloud. Several dresses wrapped and cloaked the body, recalling flower or seashell-like forms. While much of the line is in a subtle, sophisticated palette of cream and pale pink tones, the collection is not demure. Brightly colored details like a red braided rope, an obi-like sash or a fabric pattern in gold or black brushstrokes provided graphic — almost calligraphic — bold accents. Body-conscious embellishments, like a curved bamboo rod joined to shoulder straps across the back of a minimal sheath dress, make each piece artful but wearable. No aspect is left unconsidered — chunky raw necklaces made of glass, vinyl and leather, braided rope pumps and sheer gloves complimented the looks in this jewel box of a collection. — Julie Yee