Rachel Antonoff can always be counted on to deliver fresh, playful fashion week presentations with a hint of theatrical flare. But the designer—whose previous shows have run the gamut from high-school dances to spooky haunted houses—outdid herself for Spring '13.
This season, models donned preppy-chic looks inspired by Eames' iconic 1977 documentary film, "Powers of Ten," which opens with a picnicking couple sprawled on the grass before panning out (by powers of 10) to show a blue earth spinning in space.
"We're in that first picnic shot," Antonoff told us, gesturing to the elaborate, grass-laden "maze" that she and her team created inside Chelsea's Drive-In Studios.
Complete with a gurgling fountain, toppled stone statues and models playing a live game of badminton on bright green Astroturf, the show—which attracted the likes of Lena Dunham and Hailee Steinfeld—was easily Antonoff's coolest to date (with extra points for the pile of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pitchers of pink lemonade that greeted guests in a reception area with a projection of bright blue sky as its backdrop).
Cheery, childlike exuberance is Antonoff's calling card, but the collection was anything but juvenile: A sleek black jumpsuit with a criss-crossed bodice felt sophisticated and just a little sporty paired with a printed visor. A long, swishy skirt in a bright green digital pattern (made to look like the square patches of grass from the Eames' film) was just a tad sexy finished with a sheer black silk panel below the knee.
Wild manicures (some finished with the scribbled names of Antonoff's closest friends and family) and cheeky accessories kept the collection from feeling too serious: Bright jelly oxfords and strappy sandals—the latest in Antonoff's ongoing collaboration with Bass—added a youthful feel to more grown-up looks, as if you could actually wear a pair to play in the park and get your feet a little dirty.