Rachel Comey: Trompe L’Oeil Prints and a Swim Debut

Rachel Comey's collections have become increasingly expansive and diverse over the past few seasons. For spring, she built on her signature bold prints with new swim pieces and some sexy eveningwear.

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A runway look from Rachel Comey's Spring 2012 collection.
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Rachel Comey's collections have become increasingly expansive and diverse over the past few seasons. For spring, she built on her signature bold prints (this one is a digital print of an artist's work) with new swim pieces and some sexy eveningwear.
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This season marked Comey's first foray into swimwear. "I've been taking my time to find the right printed swim -- -- fabric development that I thought was right," she remarked backstage. "Feeling-wise, I think I just go the same route: Try to find things that I would want to wear, that my friends would want to wear, that I can never find."
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One of Comey's hallmarks through her career has been her eye for original prints. In this collection, many were digital prints of materials like cable-knit or plaid rendered on diaphanous fabrics like chiffon. The effect was a playful trompe l'oeil.
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A cheerful color-block dress, topped off with a bucket hat.
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"She's definitely a working woman," says Comey of her muse. Here, a trim, '60s-influenced dress in a dark, moody print.
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A knit sweater paired with a diaphanous skirt.
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Toward the close of Comey's collection, the designer showed a series of sexy, evening-focused looks. "There's the whole 'unfolding'," says Comey. "In the beginning she's more buttoned-up ... but by the end she loosens up."
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"I was trying to find ways to use chiffon and fabrics that felt sexy -- elegant without being prim," says Comey.
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A sexy printed dress with an up-to-there slit. "I like to be dressed-up, but in a very subtle or nonchalant kind of way," says Comey.
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A black cocktail dress with sheer panels felt more upscale than some of the pieces Comey has done in the past. "It seems to be a growing category," says Comey. "We get people asking for that, and re-orders on the ones that we do, so we've been spending a little bit more time on that."
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