Tess Giberson begins her collections with a feeling or a word—Fall 2012’s was Wrap, gleaned from and inspired by Christo’s early works wrapping small items; later, he’d cover whole islands in sheets, the manmade fabrics unexpectedly functioning as a foil for the organic structures beneath. Giberson employs that same ideology in her latest collection: even the heaviest garments, folded and tied and dangling, were delicately draped, loosely contoured, full of soft movement. A knit tank exposes, hides, then exposes again the body underneath, all in a collaged mosaic of material; a black, knee-length shift dress varies in material and shape in one smooth, clean line.
While the color palette stuck to the best shades in which to safely wrap someone—darkish neutrals, in greys, black, charcoal, white—knit vests sometimes appeared in a variety of colors (blues, mustard) as overlays. A rich blue puffer coat, cropped in the back, was a standout and an unexpected burst of color. Giberson is a master of layering, of subtle texture-mixing (furs paired with silks paired with leather), of lengthening and cloaking a silhouette in a way that’s both dainty and sturdily masculine. Pops of color were bright (the aforementioned coat, a mustard one-shoulder dress), but ultimately restrained. Perhaps the strongest wrappings of all were Jill Platner’s necklaces, which covered the torso in leather straps and metal triangles, like protective armor. Asymmetry in silhouette and length was frequent: elongated and cropped shapes were juxtaposed, slick black pants peeked through tanks that were longer on one side. It’s interesting when the one-off becomes classic and timeless; this is Giberson’s forte.