The expansive Leanne Marshall collection tapped the beach as well as Studio 54 for inspiration, with billowing sleeves and lush no-wave gradients.
Leanne Marshall’s collection for S/S 2018 was her least whimsical yet. The Project Runway winner has gained a following for her bridal work, but this ready-to-wear collection was a stately and thoroughly contemporary affair, rife with specific references to the painterly 80’s, swipes of teal and white, and the yellow-striped awnings of Beverly Hills umbrellas or lawn chairs. Marshall tapped cutouts to frame the model’s bodies in layered skirts; some boxy, some matte. It when Marshall started sending silk organza and chiffon down the runway in canary yellow, green, purple and pink; things got hot. It was in this moment you could sense Marshall really hitting her summertime stride: Graciously flowing and slightly vintage styles: billowing sleeves collecting at the hand (Donna Summer, anyone?), elegantly executed trains never went overboard: just enough to make one feel regal. Sculptural cocktail dresses and atmospheric gradients, like a setting western sun. Funky diamond cut outs on some gowns felt a little too Memphis for our taste, but saved with flowing, gorgeous lines otherwise. Open back is the name of the game here, with tiny straps holding up piles of hot pink fabric.
In all, Leanne Marshall’s collection was an expansive look at a designer who is testing out unique color combinations and fascinating control over shape. She is unwavering in her innovation, even if the colors seem occasionally elementary. In a way, Marshall wins regardless: she knows a good piece that will melt the heart when she sees one, like a musician playing that certain note that brings you to tears every time.