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Malandrino: Zizi’s Top

Erin Skrypek
February 08th, 2007 @ 00:36 AM - New York

Zizi Jeanmaire may be a foreign name to many of us, but to Catherine Malandrino she is pure inspiration, at least for her Fall 2007 collection, which she showed on Wednesday, February 7, at the Chelsea Art Museum.

Zizi Jeanmaire is to France what Ginger Rogers is the United States – a dancing icon. However Jeanmaire was slightly different in that she was a prima ballerina with close-cropped, jet black hair, which, thanks to Odile Gilbert, each model sported on Malandrino’s runway.

The Grenoble-born designer aimed to capture her famous countrywoman’s raw energy and vibrant persona with her latest collection, making her clothes dance, constructing them out of materials that are easy to move in. She also added plenty of stage elements, namely in the form of feathers, brightly colored leggings and Swarovski crystals.

While some of the collection was perhaps a bit too true to the stage – some super short jersey tunics and a feathered finale – Malandrino showed a solid crop of wearable looks that oozed energy either by way of their vibrant color, like a fun, magenta leather coat dress, or their bouncing details, like a black jersey dress with a pleated drape panel and, our favorite, a black wool, mini skirt suit with a pleated jacket that would swing into a full circle if the model had stopped to do a quick pirouette.

Aside from the pieces inspired by Zizi, Malandrino also made sure to show her staple cashmere knits and flirty dresses, some with sexy neckpieces that dropped in a straight line to the top of an otherwise strapless dress.

Although Malandrino did impart plenty of newness to her fall collection, she could have done without so many drape-y, balloon hems. This might be considered a Malandrino trademark – she did show a few similar hemlines last season – but we are definitely ready for something that feels fresher. Even still, there are plenty girls who’d be happy to hit the dance floor in any one of Malandrino’s latest looks.

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