Ports 1961 has always been a quiet favorite among the Fashion Week crowd: not so trendy as Alex Wang nor so "grown up" as St. John's, but the brand consistently churns out wearable, modern pieces that exude warmth, personality, and a uniquely global point of view.
We were, admittedly, a touch skeptical when the first of Ports' fall looks hit the Promenade afternoon: a white overcoat shaped more or less like a tube of toothpaste, topped off with what's best described as a leather swim cap? Doesn't this collection need to, you know, sell?
But as the narrative -- explained in the program as an exploration of "discovery and invention" -- unfolded on the runway, we found ourselves wishing we lived in the same distant century as the models', whose hair was blown out in wild curly poufs beneath their leather caps (hello, '80's). Tecchie fabrics and architectural silhouettes evoked the "futurism" and "power" cited in the program, but the meticulous detail and luxurious embellishments--one evening dress in red chicory featured a single glistening sleeve -- gave it an Old World feel. The third to last look, a black wool cape and leather "licorice" trouser worn by Yulia T, fully recovered the collection from its bizarre opening and knocked our socks clean off our feet.