Cynthia Steffe: Shaun Kearney’s Three Bears

In my (admittedly limited) experience, there are three sides to every designer’s collection: the looks you love, the looks you hate, and the looks that left you bored out of your skull.

In viewing Sean Kearney’s Fall 2011 collection for Cynthia Steffe, these three sides resembled the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: while some designs were too much and others not enough, most of what walked down the runway left me feeling just right.

Too Much

There was a lot of animal print…and metallic…and oversize…and sometimes they were all in the same outfit.  However, I’d like to note that Cynthia Steffe is the first designer this year to make me actually consider cheetah print as a valid fashion choice (which is kind of a big deal), but occasionally it was a little too wild (ahem) to ignore.

And I do not and will not ever understand whoever decided it was a good idea to accessorize with a beanie.

Not Enough

More oversize, and some pretty dresses with interesting details – but I’ve seen it all before. The jackets are bland, the dresses are typical, and the points of interest that usually add a spark are lackluster.

Just Right

Much better. And do you see the cheetah? It’s perfect, and paired with rich red and soft, cool gray: swoon.

In fact, these outfits encompass the best parts of this line: contrasting colors and patterns, artfully-placed fur, and gloves.  Gloves!  They were everywhere.

This is bold at its best, in so many ways: prints that shine paired with bold necklaces; sheer and lace with a thick cuff and heavy black gloves; an entire leather skirt set with a peplum, pink tights and fur. At the same time, it’s balanced, with the shiny patterns lacking gloves, and bold tops paired with neutral skirts.  And it’s all so damned wearable.

Speaking of wearable: pants. That aren’t giant cheetah monstrocities.  And look at those fucking shoes. I am wearing cropped pants, patterned tights and colored pumps forever now. Please make a note of it.

(Yes, I see the beanies. They’re dumb. Let’s move on.)

And the outerwear?  Fucking luxurious.  I didn’t even mind the oversize sleeves and shape-obscuring hemlines.  Somehow Cynthia Steffe made it look sort of regal.

Cynthia Steffe: too much, too little, or just right?

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