Blame the stealth-wealth trend, but fashion is in a state of paring things back. What does that look like for a brand like Badgley Mischka, which has always specialized in opulent formalwear designed to make a statement? For pre-fall, Mark Badgley and James Mischka got in on the momentum by experimenting with stripping back their usual signatures—embroidery, sequins, prints—and focusing on sharp silhouettes. “This collection is very simple and streamlined,” said Badgley.
For inspiration, the design duo referenced the sleek but glamorous style of their late friends the interior designers Chessy Rayner and Mica Ertegun. “We used to go to dinner parties at their house—they were real cool girls from the ’60s, and they always dressed super chic,” said Badgley. In the mix were a long, black gown with a deep-V neckline and cape sleeves, and a white sequin tuxedo-style gown. Another design, a simple sack dress, featured a shapely neckline and straps.
If the designs were a little more subtle than usual, they still used luxurious fabrics: Satins, georgettes, crepes, and mikado silks took center stage. Jewel tones were also prevalent—as they were in the color schemes of their friends Mica and Chessy. “Their interiors were quite understated, but there were a lot of gem hues,” said Mischka. A one-sleeved purple satin gown, with ruching at the waist, was a standout. “Our customer is craving silhouettes closer to the body,” explained Badgley. “We didn’t do anything too diaphanous. Our fall deliveries tend to be more sleek.”
Another talking point this season? The 2024 presidential election. “We wanted clothes that weren’t too overly ostentatious,” said Badgley. Added Mischka: “We wanted clothes that make her feel strong—she’s gonna need it.”