A New Line of Subtle, Glamorous Clothes

A New Line of Subtle, Glamorous Clothes

Here and below, looks from Michelle Rhee's resort 2023 collection, the brand's first offering.Credit…Mat + Kat The debut collection from the designer Michelle Rhee's namesake line balances romantic draping with precise men's wear-inspired silhouettes. As a child, the fashion designer Michelle Rhee was rather shy and fascinated by how, in lieu of spoken words, clothes could communicate on behalf of their wearer. “That always gave me a sense of confidence,” says Rhee, who's drawn to minimal but evocative aesthetic objects of all kinds. No wonder that, when she studied art history in college, she was taken with German Expressionism, the early 20th-century movement whose practitioners dispensed with strict realism, leading instead with their emotions. “There's a classicness to those paintings, and yet they're charged with so much energy,” says Rhee, 33. The same might be said of the 18 pieces that make up the inaugural collection of her namesake label, which launched earlier this month and stands to become a favorite of women who want to dress simply but not quietly. That tension between subtlety and boldness exists within the designs alongside others: between soft and structured fabrics, flowing and fitted constructions and more and less formal elements. There's a shirtdress with epaulets that would look more utilitarian if the piece weren't made of double-faced satin. There's a double-breasted taupe wool-blend blazer that recalls tailored men's wear — and that can be paired with a delicate triangle bra and a wool-blend skirt with belt loops and a zip fly. A long-sleeved foiled jersey dress is knotted at the sternum and has a skirt with statuesque folds. “That's the glam moment,” Rhee says. Another dress, available in black or fuchsia, features a voluminous ankle-length chiffon skirt with a ribbonlike hem that emerges from a boxy satin top with a deep U-neck. It's easy to imagine encountering a sophisticated woman in it at a cocktail party, which is to say that these are grown-up clothes that are more than merely pretty; Rhee has also imbued them with strength. They're looks that have been forming in her mind, consciously or otherwise, for […]

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