Ports 1961 Pre-Fall 2012 Collection

How does that fashion maxim go again? Three is a trend? In that case let’s just go and induct houndstooth as the early front-runner for hot trend of the pre-fall season. After Jason Wu and Oscar de la Renta had their cracks at the pattern earlier last week, Cibani emblazoned it on almost the entire closet she had to offer.

The houndstooth came in its most normal state for suits, as an ombre on a bustier dress, digitally abstracted in silk day tops and overblown and slightly warped to look like flocks of birds on the opening green column dress and like gazelle on the blue column that followed two looks after.

Cibani wanted to play with color here more than form, a significant admission since the main shift in the brand DNA since Fiona took the helm after her sister Tia, was that signature, beautiful and distinctly ‘Ports’ color palette that suddenly just disappeared. From this effort alone, it would’ve been nice to see some more of that vibrancy and splash of color from the first looks showcased evenly throughout. Those houndstooth prints require a background that will let them pop, and although slate gray works on the suiting, the pattern feels too overwrought with that flared, rounded cut of the suit pants. The cigarette pant version was a significantly more inviting prospect.

And yet, for all the control and cohesion in the lineup, it was that one black knit long-sleeve sheath dress, the one piece that had zilch to say about a color story or about houndstooth, that walked right on in there and stole the show.