When I first had the pleasure of meeting designer Elene Cassis, she had just won a coveted award upon her graduation from Parsons School of Design, and had barely started choosing fabric for her first collection. Fast-forward to this season's Fashion Week in NYC and I am blown away by just how far this one-to-watch designer has come! Presenting her second collection at the Bryant Park Hotel, Elene truly outdid herself.
In her signature palette of only black & white (with some subtle variations this time around...whites were on the ecru side, and grey made a quick appearance), Elene presented 12 dresses that easily provide shapes and silhouettes that are flattering, modern, and easy to wear. With names like "The Linda," "The Patricia Ann" and ten other women, Elene used double-knit wool jersey, silk-cotton blend, stretch duchess satin, printed crepe-de-chine (where that grey appears), silk chiffon, silk charmeuse, and novelty wool boucle. Graphic lines, '60's- and '80's-inspired silhouettes, and miraculously flattering horizontal stripes all make statements within a collection that is obviously created for women who want to feel feminine and powerful at the same time. The starkness of the color palette plays beautifully off the flounce of a ruffle and the nip of a waist. My personal favorite pieces in this collection were the dress that Elene herself chose to wear at the presentation..."The Annabelle" is a black scoop-neck pencil dress in a weighty, almost quilted silk-cotton blend, and "The Ann," a printed, almost flowy shift that is 1960's Palm Springs and 2010 Manhattan all rolled into one. Their individual details and immaculate tailoring satisfy our search for those perfectly versatile dresses we are always looking for.
I think we all need to keep an eye on Elene Cassis...with one gorgeous collection after another, I can't wait to see what she gives us next!