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Offsite: Catherine Malandrino's Tribal Chic

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It was celeb city at the Catherine Malandrino spring/summer 2010 presentation today at the Chelsea Arts Museum on W 22nd. Kim Kardashian, Estelle, and Mary J. Blige pushed past paparazzi in the over-crowded space to view the latest fashions from Malandrino's collection. To be honest, it was no surprise that Mary J. showed up today—anyone who's heard her "Growing Pains" album is familiar with the reference to the label in the song "Grown Woman". The models, looking like a gaggle of tribal Twiggys, were immaculately dressed in embroidered and textured ensembles that called to mind both American Indian and African tribal influence with a 60's twist.

Accessories continue to grab our attention, with oversized earrings and necklaces taking attention away from the bangle trend of past seasons. A horn motif (appropriate to the tribal theme) appeared on jewelry as well as natural stones and embroidered pieces. Wedges adopted the tassels that were incorporated into the collection, but also an American Indian beaded print, while distressed loafers gave a boyish charm to the collection. Turbans and fantastic floral headbands were worn by each model, emphasizing Malandrino's hippy-chic theme.

While we again embrace a neutral color palette, the collection's desert colors were complemented nicely by her rich signature purple, a beautiful emerald green, and opulent golds. Embroidery was essential to almost every piece, with beaded necklines and cardigans (coming in both neutrals and vibrant colors) adding an instant jolt to any muted ensemble. Tailoring is also key for this line—pleats, drop-crotch pants, rouching, and feminine draping show off the Malandrino's true expertise. The greatest applause for the collection has to be for the designer's utilization of prints. Not only does she follow the mosaic trend seen on the runways, she also mixes it up with checks, an oversized floral toille, and precise perforated leather that create the perfect balance of tough bitch and cowboy-chic.—Phillip Picardi