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Soft Shapes, Slouchy Silhouettes, and MTV Drama at Ports 1961

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This afternoon luxury womenswear label Ports 1961 presented their fall 2010 collection at the Bryant Part tents. And, no surprises, the line was subtle, feminine, and unfussy. The label's an editorial favorite, and we spotted Anne Slowey, Joe Zee, alongside the rest of the Elle team seated with Olivia Palermo. Meanwhile, rumors spread that an unnamed cast-mate from The City/The Hills/Laguna Beach/whatever showed up and made a huge stink because Palermo was front row and she was placed in the second.

The collection—a pretty daunting 47 looks—came in a spectrum of earth tones. Beige and sage sweater dresses and trenches, coffee-colored tailored separates, soft metallic copper cocktail dresses, and a variety of rubberized tech-fabrics in various off-whites, browns, and soft blacks stood out. Shapes were soft, slouchy and nontraditional without being odd or unwearable—crepey shift dresses with dramatic armholes, amorphous capelets and shrugs, and belted dusters moved with the Benetton-ad-variety-pack of wind-tousled models. Looks—we loved the cropped, slightly over-sized double-breasted jackets, piped tunics, and glittery cigarette pants—were accessorized with leather aviator caps, ornate stacked and platform heels or boyish oxfords in metallic leather, and chunky, dramatic jewelry fashioned from wood and metal.

The runway was unadorned—a surprise for Ports 1961, but a photo backdrop of retro metal machinery echoed the coppers and steels of the collection as well as the vaguely-industrial new wave remixes models sashayed along to. The gothy clang and the Metropolis-style imagery paints a bleak picture but the mood was light and the pieces soft and optimistic. The only bit of gravity was a pre-show moment of silence in honor of Alexander McQueen.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park, New York