Libertine Returns with Punky Painted Tweeds

Johnson Hartig of Libertine was given a warm reception back into the fashion fold, with notables Laura Mulleavy and Thom Browne seated front row to support their friend as he took first solo bow on the runway. Since splitting from his former partner and co-founder, Cindy Greene, Johnson says he's undergone a lot of "personal growth" that he believes is reflected in the new collection. We have to agree.

Rather than honing in on specific symbols and graphic representations, Johnson worked with a warbled florescent plaid motif screenprinted over everything from 60's-era Jackie Kennedy mohair coats and  shift dresses to gray-and-black pantsuits for men. The overall effect was a punk-rock take on ladylike sophistication, and called to mind, somewhat, Proenza Schouler's acid-trip re-interpretation of ladylike tweet suiting.

But Johnson gave the look his own special twist by adding heaps of glitz and shimmer, which worked to dazzling effect in the magenta and gold boucle separates that were paired with glistening, almost tie-dyed looking tights. Judging by the approving looks from front row editors and stylists, the collection was the exuberant burst that had been missing from the past 48 hours, a dose of joy and color amid all the fur and leather.

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