Badgley Mischka Fall/Winter 2013

Click the photo for more looks from Badgley Mischka.

Michael Kors has American sportswear, Coco Chanel had the ladylike suit, and Badgley Mischka has the evening gown — such is the way that things are in the fashion world, and Mark Badgley and James Mischka made sure that the audience was as aware of that fact as ever with their Fall/Winter 2013 collection.

The stage was set for drama — instead of having the lights come on as usual as the show began, the models were instead tracked by beaming spotlights while the rest of the room remained in darkness for the duration of the show. It was a good move — every shimmering bead and swinging tassel was illuminated as it was paraded by the models down the runway.

And what a parade it was: with a clear appreciation for an era long since passed, Badgley Mischka’s clothes honed in on the ideal closet of a Hollywood movie star in the 1940’s; legendary costume designer Edith Head would’ve been proud. Red lips were paired with cozy fur stoles and capelike accents, but the most striking accessories were the gloves. Long, black, and nearly omnipresent, they elevated the clothes from strictly period to almost theatrical — were these clothes to wear to the opera or for the opera performers themselves? The centerpiece gowns spoke to the latter notion; they were opulent, dramatic, and positively spectacular. In particular, a dark emerald green dress dusted with black sheer trim was the perfect segway between modern and classic aesthetic.

Furthermore, the designers were smart enough to prevent their clothes from falling into cheesy, overdone Marilyn Monroe territory. Many of the gowns featured 1920’s art deco accents — lavishly graphic lines; a glittering half-disc which garnished a bodice with emerald and gold; wing-shapes which acted as a high fashion breastplate. The most stunning outfit of the collection was appropriately saved for last. Dripping with gold and tassels, it was pure art deco Cleopatra.

Badgley Mischka, while not quite a household name, can always be found on a best dressed list after a big event — this collection will no doubt extend the streak.

Helen Holmes is deputy features editor. Email her at [email protected]