Dressed to thrill?

Rolando Santana unveiled his spring collection during New York Fashion Week at Center 548, and it was truly lovely with soft floral ensembles in tantalizing red and green combos that evoked Frida Kahlo, one of his muses; flirty, feathered pink flapper numbers; and lacy, crocheted cream creations that revealed the modest designer’s gift for texture.

All that was fine – tasteful, ladylike, classic. You could wear his clothes anywhere. Maybe the audience should’ve taken the hint. I don’t know, perhaps it was the late-summer heat or the deafening DJ that seems to be de rigueur at every New York party these days or maybe I was just in a witchy mood, but I couldn’t help thinking: Why are guests at fashion shows so badly dressed?

There were a few women who looked great in sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses and pumps or high-heeled sandals. Then there were those in leather pants and boots. (In 96-degree heat? Please.) They looked like they were ready for an S & M club. And then you had those who revealed when they should’ve concealed. (A cutout top is never good without a structured undergarment unless you are flat-chested.) And then you had those who were ready for gardening.

The first rule of style is that it should project your personality, whether it be the cut of your clothes or the décor of your home. But dress must also be appropriate – to the weather (not the calendar), the setting and your figure.

Too many strain for effect and thus create either something other than they intended or none at all.

Read more about Rolando Santana and his sculptured, textured collection of cocktail dresses at Neiman Marcus in WAG’s September “Rag Time” issue.

– Georgette Gouveia

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