"The dresses will be iconic, architectural and anatomical," the designer promised. "We want to be the go-to destination for when women want to feel hot to trot."
If by "seduce" Posen meant "smother into submission by the application of ruffles and rickrack," well, he was bang on. (Pun intended.)
Posen's prints were very pretty — as were the prints for his Target collection of earlier this year. A multi-colored print of tiny cartoon faces turned up on shirts, dresses, scarves and bags.
In some of the pieces, sharp tailoring cut the cutesiness. I could see throwing on one of Posen's neat little dresses (especially a princess-seamed number with a collar that matched the faces print with a navy blue skirt).
Well-fitting jackets and wide-legged pants are fundamentally a lot sexier than ill-considered lace insertions and cut-outs.
Anna Cleveland, the daughter of the supermodel Pat, stalked the runway in a long dress with a plunging neckline and a black jacket. Actually, she didn't stalk — she shimmied, vamped, winked, slung her hips from side to side, and even worked in a twirl. A source told us that hadn't been the direction, but that Posen, watching on the monitors backstage, loved the campy touch.
Crystal Renn walked in a yellow ruffled strapless jumpsuit, and while she looked magisterial on the runway, even she couldn't quite make the outfit work.
The shoes posed challenges both practical and aesthetic. Ataui Deng fell on the runway. (She quickly recovered and appeared unhurt.) And while I liked the fact that the wooden platform heels had a kind of colorful floral decoupage, the footwear didn't need to also be covered in rows of leather ruffles, extraneous straps, and studs. The boots even had peep-toes.
That's sort of the problem with Zac Posen: he suffers from a surfeit of good ideas and an inability to grasp when the point of redundancy has been reached.
Hilary Rhoda wore a long black dress to close the show. It was backless, cleavage-baring, and had cut-outs on the shoulders and midriff. Rhoda is a seriously gorgeous woman even when she is shrink-wrapped in skintight jersey, but if this is Posen's idea of what a woman wants to wear to feel sexy, he's way off.
For Posen's bow, the DJ put on Katie Perry's "Peacock" song — the one that goes "I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock, your peacock, cock, cock," — and the designer walked out in a red velvet jacket and the kind of bow-tie one half expected to spray water on unsuspecting interlocutors. Posen hasn't yet realized that subtlety, too, can be sexy.