Vassallo Fall/Winter 2013

There was no devil in the details at the launch of the Vassallo collection today. In fact, the highlight of the collection was the amount of detail — velvet ribbon piping across the waistband of a floral chiffon dress and the leather collar on an otherwise simple black coat.

At first glance, the shapes appeared almost demure. The hemlines on the dresses and skirts were almost to the knees. The necklines were not daring, and blouses were finished with lace bows and ruffles. The skinny dress pants, that were impeccably cut but loosely fitted, were simple shapes that struck the perfect balance when paired with girlish details. A gold sequined peplum dress might have seemed redundant had it not been complimented by unexpected red velvet piping on the skirt.

Javier Vassallo, former designer director of Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, noted that he was inspired “by a summer spent in Brittany, and by the paintings of Gaugin.” This inspiration created a wearable collection that showcased both the structured outerwear and the more feminine elements, like a knife-pleated floral skirt and a metallic stripe-printed keyhole dress.

Standouts included a past-the-knee green wool coat with a double set of silver buttons, matched effortlessly with a teal and gray geometric sweater dress, an incredibly tailored black velvet suit, and a strapless chiffon dress with a black leather bodice and sheer skirt.

Every look flowed cohesively into the next, united by the jewel-tone palette and the repeated shapes of peplum dresses and high-waisted flare skirts. This may have been Vassallo’s launch collection, but it is clear that he is no beginner in the fashion world.

Abby Nathan is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]