Fly Like A Butterfly. Collina Strada SS23

At Collina Strada, Hillary Taymour was in a celebratory mood (like many designers in New York seem to be). Hari Nef opened the show, wearing a dainty, lace-trimmed slip over wide-leg plaid trousers, her arms fluttering up and down like so many butterfly wings. Bedazzled on the front was the phrase “Got milkweed?,” an environmentally friendly take on the classic Got Milk? ad campaign of the ’90s, which also happened to be the name of the collection. Milkweed is the only plant monarch caterpillars will eat. Fittingly, the show took place at Brooklyn Greenway, a former cemetery turned monarch butterfly preserve that’s not open to the public. Taymour’s signature playfulness and Y2K influence were certainly present, but there was also a tender touch (some of the models wore extra-long braids that dragged on the floor behind them as they walked, like a Rapunzel that never had to cut her hair off to find freedom) and a mix of romanticism that resulted in some truly elegant eveningwear options. A floral lace–crocheted long-sleeve gown was worn underneath a structured bustier minidress with an exaggerated balloon skirt—a fantastic continuation of the exploration of panniers and bustles that Taymour has embarked on for the past few seasons. “I just feel like now that we’re a ‘trend,’ I really wanted to push it and be like, ‘We’re not just [sportswear],’” said Taymour after the show. “I can make these dresses for you and elevate it.” A carnation pink dress made from deadstock chiffon that hung from bent-wire flowers that attached to matching airbrushed pink breasts and nipples proved she could do both. She added, “I just wanted to push myself to do that.” Big cargos came in hand-drawn floral prints, crushed velvet, and even organza. Decorated jeans were part of a collaboration with Unspun, a company that 3D-scans the body in order to create made-to-order denim. She also debuted a collaboration with Virón featuring shoes made of upcycled materials, including ruffled velvet oxfords and chunky silver metallic boots, and a collaboration with Melissa on supercool and weird puffy sandals, which she paired with tiny satin ballerina-style socks that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the collection. In the show notes, Taymour describes being inspired by “the butterfly’s symbolic cycle of life, death, and rebirth,” but with clothes like these, Collina Strada will thrive forever.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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