During the final march of Badgley Mischka’s spring presentation today, the models stepped out one by one in various brightly colored dresses, from bubblegum goatee pink to egg yolk orange, with the whole range appearing as one big fashion rainbow. Designer duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka felt bright and sunny this season and wanted to convey a sense of optimism with their clothing. You can thank their recent travels for such a half-full look, both at life and at their fashions. “We [recently] went to Marrakech and Casablanca,” Mischka said, “and we were inspired by the colors, smells and fabrics there.
For spring, the duo wanted their collection to embody the two Moroccan cities’ unabashed love of color, something particularly important in their architecture and craft markets. “It was our quest to pave the way for our girls to have beautiful, colorful, happy clothes,” Badgley said. “James and I often do neutral palettes, but we never get the same reaction for evening as when we play with color.”
Their gala-ready dresses – in formal fabrics such as satins, mikados, chiffons, organzas and crepes – came in a variety of vibrant shades. They were very heavy on the flywheels. “We played with a lot of volume, but attached to a streamlined silhouette,” Badgley said. The rose-shaped ruffled sleeves on a neon green blazer were delicate, although the ruffled, off-the-shoulder ruffled dress in the same shade was striking. Something new for the duo was to work with the crinoline: they applied full skirts under a transparent and embroidered shirt dress. He looked perfect for their clientele of Upper East Side ladies. The yellow brocade dress, with one ruffled shoulder and puff sleeves, was just begging to be worn for an opening at The Frick.
Badgley and Mischka also wanted to feature daytime partings for spring. But don’t confuse daytime with casual, not at all. “A lot of people wouldn’t consider our du jour pieces a day,” Badgley said with a laugh. “It is the evening that separates. It’s a beautiful dress, but her top is cut off. There were floral-print suits, all-over sequin suits, and a skin-tight tank dress paired with a floor-length maxi dress, the kind of coat you’d float around a mansion in before heading downstairs for breakfast. The designers wanted their separate pieces to have such a sense of elegance and ease. “Our ladies want that high fashion look, but they want to be comfortable,” Badgley said.