Fashion Week SS09: Ports 1961

And, after a Time-Warner-Cable-induced delay, we return.

It's not truly Fashion Week unless you go to at least one pod people show--you know, the kind where the outfits are so out there that the models look like pod people. Ports 1961, the label by Canadian Tia Cibani, was one such show, with its motif of tree-inspired dresses, painterly colors, super-wide high boatneck collars, and hats worn like tribal masks, all drawn from the paintings of the Canadian artist Emily Carr (1871-1945). But during a fashion week where nearly everyone else was playing it safe, her unchecked creativity was a breath of fresh air.

The show attracted a similarly creative crowd.

Patrick McDonald in all black-and-white except for one yellow pocket square.

Love the surrealist detail on his hat--an eye in the middle of a spiderweb.

More black and white--the pants are Yoshi Yamamoto.

Beautifully abstract tie-dye transitions to fall.

Mickey Boardman and his signature necklaces.

Love her wry look. Look out for candy-colored wayfarers like these in the spring. They also made an appearance on the runway of the Walter show.

The dramatic look of a white fox stole.


If you can get past the theatrics of some of the looks, you'll see that Cibani was one of the few designers during New York Fashion Week to anticipate what the Wizard of Oz herself, Miuccia Prada, would be unveiling a couple of weeks later in Milan. Ports 1961's subtle metallic poplins are an exciting step forward in the same direction.

A favorite look of the collection. This delicate yellow hue appeared several times throughout. Necklace made of bone?

The play of colors here is amazing--Cibani uses sheers and reflective fabrics that are constantly shifting colors as the model moves.

A transparent striped tunic, silk palazzo pants, and statement necklace made of yarn.

Crazy hat-mask.
Gorgeous brown shimmery dress.
Look at the similarity to the Prada dress that appeared a few weeks later, though in typical Prada brassier form.
But back at Ports 1961, just when you thought Cibani might be getting too commercial, she whips out a pod people look. Yay!

View the entire show on NYMag.com.