– By Val Bitici –
I sat next to Dennis Basso at a benefit dinner for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation a few years ago, and learned quickly that I had been given the best seat in the house. To my surprise, the prim and proper women’s wear designer was incredibly jovial and funny! Between belly-clenching laughs, I learned that Basso’s secret to success is balance, and that balance is exhibited through his alluring designs.
From the beginning, Basso has envisioned his ladies as gentlewomen—always elegant, graceful, and refined. The models on Basso’s Fall/Winter 2012 runway resembled forgotten ladies of a past era, walking with demure confidence while swathed in luxurious silks and cashmere, and, of course, the designer’s signature furs. The designer added extra pizzazz to his modest grey, black, and white palette with shimmering sequins, and even bright bursts of orange. When combined with Basso’s structured silhouettes, the soft fabrics and pops of sparkle and color fit together easily, like pieces of a puzzle.
Can grace ever lose its footing? Maybe, but that isn’t a worry in Basso’s realm. While the model wearing the penultimate design in the show faltered and took a tumble on the runway, front-row glitterati still managed to soak up the refreshing dose of orange beads and silk that suavely followed her to the ground as she fell. I’m sure Mr. Basso had a good laugh about the blip. Life is about balance, after all.
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