Lorry Newhouse: Fall 2014

by Alex R. Travers

lorry-newhouse06Lorry Newhouse has always had an appreciation for the spectacular. But today’s Fall 2014 collection was the most elegant expression of her visual style. The scene at the Soho House New York felt like a Midnight In Paris moment, but instead of being transported to the Roaring Twenties, we were taken back to the Forties, a time when revolutionary breakthroughs were occurring in the field of fashion: Dior’s new look, Grès exquisite drapery and plissé pleating, Edith Head’s first wardrobe design for the hedonist Alfred Hitchcock. Newhouse updated it all: She reinvigorated the cinched waist, expertly executed silk draping techniques, and crafted a white shift dress worthy of Ingrid Bergman in her prime. The designer’s collaboration with the haute couturier of gloves, Daniel Storto, enhanced her Forties-style glamour. And to top it off, Newhouse’s gregarious, gloved models toasted champagne flutes and gossiped with each other by the grand piano. They seemed to actually have much between them, too.

Which meant the venue shift was a clever move for Newhouse who finally gave her clothes a context that brought them to life. These kinds of velvet-rope soirées are, after all, where her gowns garner the most attention—fêtes like the Frick’s Young Fellows Ball, the Winter Wonderland Ball at the Botanical Gardens, and the Met’s Costume Institute Gala. Speaking of the Met, Newhouse’s showing felt like the perfect prequel to the museum’s Charles James exhibit, which will open in May. In fact, today’s presentation mirrored the famous Cecil Beaton photograph of society women in a ballroom donning James’ evening wear. History tells us it was James’ idea to impart lust to the dress. On the evidence of Newhouse’s latest collection, it’s her edict to bring that luster back to life.