Elie Tahari Spring 2020

The 1970s was a transformative time for downtown New York, particularly the Soho district. Artists and other creatives took over downtown neighborhoods, working in industrial spaces to create collectives and loft studios. For Elie Tahari’s spring/summer 2019 collection, Tahari took inspiration from 1970s downtown creatives, creating a contemporary New York-centric collection with a vintage feel.

Tahari himself first arrived in New York City from Israel in 1971, so his introduction to America was witnessing this transformation of New York’s downtown scene. At the same time, the ‘70s also saw a rise in the working woman, an inspiration for Tahari as he designed no frills collections for professional women. The look of the working woman has changed since the early 70s, and rather than do a collection that looked like wardrobe for Jill Clayburgh’s character in “An Unmarried Woman,” Tahari took ‘70s elements and gave them a contemporary twist.

A tailored jacket was done in a beautiful olive color and belted at the waist; a sleek trench coat featured a leopard print collar, and ikat prints elevated a cheetah silk twill shirt paired with matching pants that was quintessential modern fashion PR woman office attire. Many women today get to be a little more artistic and push the boundaries with their fashion choices at work, especially those in creative fields found in the current downtown New York scene.

There were a few pieces, namely a cobra cotton sateen jacket and a polka-dot shirt with matching pant in brown that seemed a bit out of Tahari’s element as he attempted to venture into more comfort chic pieces rather than office attire, but it was an acceptable attempt at something out of his comfort zone. He still sees what the working woman today wants for her wardrobe, and that idea continues to permeate through the DNA of his collections, whether it be a tailored jacket with some flare or a work dress with an artistic, but not too loud pattern. 

Photos courtesy of Corina Lecca

The collection was committed to two silhouettes, either short and sleek or long and flowing, with little variation in the said silhouettes. Although there were many eclectic elements to the collection, like wide-patch pockets, oversized blazers, with a color palette ranging from rattan to macadamia, the juxtaposition of the corporate style against the creative helped the entire collection work as a whole. Here’s to the working women who have found a new sense of fashion freedom.

— Kristopher Fraser


  1. Earlean Suitte Henderson says

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  2. Earlean Suitte Henderson says

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