There was no overarching theme or inspiration at Partow this season; just a rack full of solidly wearable clothes. “I feel like the world is in a very sensitive place, so I always think about how people are feeling and what resonates—whether it’s making your life easier so you don’t have to make one more decision in a day, or finding something that you feel empowered in,” explained designer Nellie Partow at her Manhattan showroom. To wit: an elegant single-breasted “olive” suit in a merino wool twill that was soft to the touch yet sturdy; and a classic tan trench in bonded cotton with hand-carved buttons.
Empowerment doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of softness, and this was a collection full of lightness. There were springy knit skirts with “dropped stitches” that created a kind of phantom pleat while bringing to mind the subtle sensuality of a run in someone’s stocking, and tonal floral jacquard button-down shirts and midi-length a-line skirts in shades of cream, dusty rose, and black with each color completely changing the mood of the pieces. (In black a metallic thread running through the fabric became more obvious, giving the casual silhouettes an air of low-key glamour.) A white poplin dress with a modest cutout at the rib cage had the same ease and utility of a shirt dress, just a little bit more elevated.