Douglas Hannant Fall/Winter 2013

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Imagine a concert hall with a grand piano on yellow wooden floors. David Aladashvili, the pianist from Juilliard, enters. As the intense, dramatic, almost spooky classical music belted through the huge black piano, the first peplum dress made its entrance. So did many more after.

It was a peplum, tweed, and pantsuit party, and midway through, it felt as if the concert hall became a formal gathering from a Real Housewives of New York episode, where all the trophy wives attended a banquet, or the very own concert hall Douglas Hannant’s Fall/Winter 2013 runway show was held.

Hannant’s models looked aged. The girls were wearing sparkly tweed, red wine lipstick, sheer black tights and a shiny rolled bob hair that reminded the audience of their moms.

The palette didn’t help bring the youth back to life, as the designer exclusively included colors only middle aged women look for at a department store: midnight blue, olive, charcoal, eggplant, and shimmery silver.

The most difficult part, however, was looking at the models strut down the wooden floors with narrow, dangerous and weakly constructed heels. Every woman displaying her peplum suit was struggling to walk down while trying to hold an all-too serious “concert hall and classical music” face.

If Hannant had kept this middle age concept going, it would at least be a coherent collection, but he didn’t. There were random appearances of polka dots. Sheer and silk polka dots– sometimes as sleeves, sometimes as necklines. It could have been an effort to be youthful and trendy. But combined with the still very intense and scary piano sounds, the dots just added to the strangeness of the entire show.

But once Hannant switched up his fabric to lurex and silk, even the most unanticipated audience was pleasantly impressed. The last two looks, both silk draped gowns, not only were vibrant in color—bright silver and cobalt—but also alluring and elegantly flowing down with each movement.

Hannant’s fall/winter woman is still unclear. She could be old, maybe a polka-dot lover, but sometimes really sexy when she wears long silk. Maybe he’s telling us to be all three this autumn.

Michelle Lim is beauty & style editor. Email her at [email protected]