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The Row

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MODEST LUXURY

New York: Once again The Row’s offerings embodied luxe minimalism, but Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s designs for Pre-Fall 11 weren’t as understated as those presented in seasons past. High-quality materials and precise cuts continue to be the label’s primary emphasis, but curvier silhouettes, inclusions of detail, and noticeable contrasts between textiles resulted in ensembles with more obvious design direction. Silhouettes were clearly 70s-influenced: flared trousers, maxi dresses and ascot blouses were sprinkled throughout. Dresses and tunics were styled over matching pants, resulting in silhouettes that managed to be retro and current at once. The abundant details were mostly functional. Holes were punched into the pelts of fox fur for jackets, making them lightweight enough to wear year-round, and zippered slits and closures meant that levels of skin-show could be adjusted. Garments were cut from supple leathers, fine silks, delicate lace, and a special stretch cashmere that is exclusive to The Row. Shine was styled against matte, and a tactile alligator skin jacket was partnered with smooth satin pants. Most impressive was the Olsen’s ongoing ability to present extreme luxury without seeming extravagant or pretentious. Even though this season’s attitude was slightly more daring and fun, the looks were as tastefully executed as always.

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