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New York

Ulla Johnson

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

New York

Ulla Johnson

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

New York

BY Hilary Shepherd

February 10, 2017

• In the throes of a blizzard, Ulla Jonson transported us—albeit briefly—into an efflorescent wonderland of floral entanglements. (The girl loves a good garden setting.) This was Johnson’s first formal runway show, held at a particularly fruitful time in the native New Yorker’s career. Her wares just debuted on Net-a-Porter, and what’s more, she’ll be opening her first standalone boutique in SoHo later this month.

• It seems fitting, then, that Johnson’s MO this season was “a meditation on women and power.” She cited irreverence, self-possession, and power as key traits of her Fall 2017 woman, with inspiration stemming from Peggy Guggenheim and abstract expressionist painter Lee Krassner.

• Her collection, which was beautiful, by the way, was “born of and for tumultuous times.” Times are indeed tumultuous—both weather-wise and politically—but Johnson’s offering felt, as it so often does, uplifting. 

• Despite her growth and steady expansion into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, Johnson is unflinchingly consistent with her vision, with sturdy fabrics (corduroy, velvet, suede, and alpaca wool), desert-friendly color palettes (roses, marigolds, crimsons, oatmeals, and taupes), and her signature worldly aesthetic (think expert draping and cinching, corset-inspired details, prairie dresses, and subtle Victorian influences) that carries over season after season. 

• Not only did Johnson give us a runway show, but a concert, too. In the middle of her two-lane catwalk were members of Baltimore-based indie band Lower Dens, whose hit song “Ondine” complimented Johnson’s offering in the dreamiest, haziest way possible.

• But back to the collection: It felt a bit more gussied up, a bit more evening, a bit more…subversive this season. There were T-strap stilettos, silk velvet jumpsuits, and a couple of copper-colored dresses made of French lamé. A standout was a pale-pink silk gown that sashayed down the runway as fluidly as a glass of bubbly champagne. 

• Fall 2017 also saw Johnson play with accessories. Four models sported glasses (part of her new collaboration with Garrett Leight) and nearly all wore heavy earrings—some even donned mismatched pairs. She also played a bit more with animal prints, which appeared on everything from pony-hair slip-ons (a continuation of a style from her Pre-Fall 2017 collection) to dresses. One of the strongest moments in the collection came in the form of a puffer coat, if you can believe it. You can’t beat a gilded floral brocade pattern and fox-fur trim. 

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