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Previews: Shipley & Halmos Gets a Second Chance

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You may recall our less-than-rapturous coverage of the Shipley & Halmos Spring Collection presentation at Milk Studios last month. A dimly-lit room full of exhausted Fashion Week attendees fondled racks of disparate garments amid projections of gyrating Shipley-clad models in a contemporary version of a Gap: Everybody in Khaki commercial. Also, it was a Saturday night and they were out of beer. Perhaps we weren't the only ones who were less than thrilled—the collection is buying a second chance with a series of showroom presentations for press. We went yesterday and were pleasantly surprised.

The colors seem to gel now—rather than a random smattering—the pastel denim, dark suiting, almost-neutral wovens, and splashes of tomato red and pure white all work together. The striped and buffalo-checked shirting is classic Shipley & Halmos—tailored, not slouchy; likewise the trim, short-but-not-too-short suiting. These are such an easy sell at retail for a reason and exactly why critics adore this line.

The underlying theme of the collection is a balance of opposites—the traditional verses the not-so-much; the structured juxtaposing the slouch; the neutrals making the blasts of color seem even more brash. These become apparent in the more casual pieces: over-sized stripey tanks; tiny, blousey shorts; color-blocked trunks, cuffable over-dyed denim; an impossibly feathery chambray in rich tomato red; a supple leather motorcycle; and a structured tough-guy racer jacket in an almost jarring (and absolutely impractical) pure white. So, yeah, a much better taste in our mouths this time around—although we'll still pass on the red drop-pleat short shorts.
· Milking It: Shipley & Halmos's Model-Free Presentation [Racked]