Elie Tahari mixes sophistication with playful hats, patterns

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NEW YORK (AP) — Elie Tahari didn’t shy away from playful elements in his spring-summer 2020 collection. But the patterns and bucket hats didn’t take away from the classic sophistication he brings to his designs.

Tahari said he was inspired by New York in the 1970s, around the time he immigrated to the U.S. from Israel.

“Downtown, Soho, the art scene — New York was vibrant and it’s vibrant now,” he told The Associated Press.

To show off the New York spirit Thursday at Fashion Week, Tahari used polka dots and animal prints on everything from a long rain slicker to swingy skirts and dresses. He carried over the patterns to his ever-present hats.

He also used a range of silhouettes. There were bell sleeves on a gingham seersucker mini dress, oversized blazers cinched with belts and a trench coat lined with leopard print, slung over the shoulders of a satin slip gown.

Tahari said he hoped women wearing his collection would feel confident, comfortable and elegant. Wide patch pockets were meant to evoke a worker’s spirit, according to his show notes. He layered some of his dots to look like a modern animal print.

It was a juxtaposition between industrial and creative, he said.His models wore chunky heels with ankle straps or bright wide sneakers.

Actress Amy Hargreaves of “Homeland” and “13 Reasons Why” said Tahari’s mix is what drew her to the brand.

“What I like about Tahari is that it’s classic, but with an edge,” she said. “It’s the kind of stuff that the regular woman can wear to work but you could also go out at night afterward.”

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