Badgley Mischka

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You might assume that Mark Badgley and James Mischka are forever in a Hollywood state of mind. But judging by the range of items they showed on today's runway—including their contemporary Mark + James line, this season debuting handbags, as well as the fruits of a brand-new outerwear license—that's not necessarily true. Nevertheless, L.A. seemed like the focus today, and logically so. Last month they finally opened their Rodeo Drive flagship, and of course there's the upcoming Super Bowl of eveningwear, a.k.a. the Academy Awards.

Specifically, Badgley and Mischka invoked the thirties- and forties-era glamour of Adrian. You saw a direct line from that reference to fluid, draped dresses, with glitzy swatches of Deco beading capping shoulders and encircling necklines and waists. An inky navy satin gown with a draped bodice and chiffon sleeves could have come straight off the set of The Women, a reminder of how little eveningwear really changes.

Some might find Badgley and Mischka's custom of showing various lines together confusing, but it's actually refreshing to see casual elements, like lovely gauzy knitwear and a great little shearling bomber, mixed into their after-eight lexicon. And there were some interesting textural experiments for day, pairing up lace, bouclé, and Mongolian lamb. Of course, they closed the show with a run of siren-silhouetted gowns, which was short the three that were already worn to the Golden Globes. In truth, these may not be the dresses that get live-tweeted to death on Oscar night, but aside from the final gown, which suffered from an overly heavy panel of ruffles, they're solidly Joan Rivers-proof.
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