Like so many designers working in the Instagram era, Sally LaPointe tends to start each collection with color. Before the show even started, it was clear she was feeling orange: In lieu of a slick catwalk, she laid down a plush, extra-wide clementine carpet. It was so long, in fact, that it curved up the wall to form a backdrop. Unlike most runway photos that show the blurred-out profiles or feet of the people sitting in the front row, LaPointe’s look almost trippy with their edge-to-edge backdrop.
Backstage, LaPointe said she chose orange because it’s traditionally associated with determination, success, and power. As an independent woman designer approaching her 10th year in business, she’s familiar with those concepts. Her approach to design—whether it’s a cashmere turtleneck or a sequined cocktail dress—always starts with how it will make a woman feel. Her strength is in making clothes that instill confidence but aren’t so overtly “fashion” that they distract from the woman wearing them. The strong tailoring and elegant silk separates tend to hit the sweet spot; just look at Jennifer Lopez or Zendaya, who have both worn LaPointe’s new fall collection.
LaPointe’s tailoring experiments for spring included belted ivory pantsuits with knit capes layered on top, a proposition that looked more fluid than it sounds. The cape was a recurring theme, both in literal ways—the show closed with an emerald cashmere cape that could replace your winter coat—and subtler ones, like asymmetrically draped blouses that simply nodded to the flowing silhouette. As usual, nearly every look was monochromatic, ranging from blush to neon tangerine; Meghan Trainor was in the front row wearing head-to-toe baby blue from resort. She was into the orange-on-orange and all-ivory looks in the show—on Instagram, she wrote: “the monochromatic is EVERYTHING!”—but as a voice of body positivity, she’d likely have been even happier to see some less-conventional models wearing them.