Inspired by the 1941 film “Blood and Sand,” Mark Badgley and James Mischka attempted to bring old Hollywood glamour to New York Fashion Week. Beehives and cat eyes walked down the runway doused in a varied combination of baroque ornamentation and clean silhouettes. Embellished details covered half of the line, while bare minimum covered the other. The collection was held together by a thin thread of inspiration, but fell apart through execution.

Despite the overarching “muchness” of the collection, the outerwear pieces shined through. The loose red capes and structured tweed coats that adorned few of the models’ shoulders were a significant highlight, pointing to potential outerwear pieces in future collections. A floor-length cream gown sparingly decorated with turquoise lace ornamented sleeves stood out as the most successful combination of minimal and adorned in the entire line. Other highlights included an ornate tank top and pant combo and a “Mad Men”-style peplum tweed dress.

The idea that a collection could provide more than one inspired style is compelling, and with more attention to subtle differences rather than overt disparities, the concept could work. Badgley Mischka is on to something new, which is exciting and fun to see on a runway where taking risks can be precarious (see Kanye West’s Adidas line). Here’s an A-for-effort on this collection and an encouraging nod in the hopes that the duo continues to pursue bold concepts in future collections.

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