If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s exactly how Frank Tell saw it this season. Known for his use of embossed leathers and hand-knit mohair concoctions, Tell didn’t stray far from house favorites for Spring 2011. Even the setting looked a little déjà vu, with its fluoro-lit backdrop. But that’s how his audience likes it: funky, familiar, and oh-so-Frank.
The collection, inspired by the Spanish moss growing on the walls of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, carried a futuristic element similar to that of last season. Shoes, by Raphael Young, were similar to Tell’s Fall 2010 space-age wedges, but this time they were covered in ultra-taut spandex.
A palette of white, black, silver, navy, and mint green eased Tell into exploring more muted tones. This season had Tell using funkier fabrics: bamboo, paper, grass, sea island cotton, and double-faced satins. The silhouette also morphed away from the looks of Fall 2010.
Tell’s last collection had brimmed with skirts, stockings, and baggy bottoms, whereas for Spring 2011, pants were cropped and a bit more flared. Leather blazers were a tad tighter, and knits were cut high in the front and drooped low in the back. The hair was no longer parted and slicked back, but was fluffy and high, like the bride of Frankenstein.
While the changes in Tell’s latest collection may be slight to the editor’s eye, it’s his permanent pieces that make his fans swoon.