What better way to break in a new flagship than with a New York Fashion Week presentation?
That was Dennis Basso’s thinking for this season’s “gallery-style” set-up inside his Madison Avenue boutique, which opened in October opposite Fendi. “Forty-one years ago when I started, Fendi set the bar for furs, and here I am,” he said with a triumphant grin.
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The 8,000-square-foot space takes up prime Manhattan real estate, so with that in mind, he took the city itself as inspiration. In his mind at least, New York has become “the gateway to fashion,” beating out Paris or Milan because of its collage of styles. There’s uptown chic, there’s downtown cool…and while the Basso name is inextricably linked to the former, real New York women are often a mix of both. So it was nice to see him work toward combining the two.
Take a classic trumpet-style gown with gold sequin embroidery — it was shown underneath a lush sable T-shirt the same color as a foamy latte, but a girl in SoHo might want to wear it with jeans for a cool day look. His eye on the fierce attitude of the concrete jungle, Basso also used leopard print jacquard for a flounce-hem shift and a trench lined in mink. He was determined to bring back the ‘60s coatdress for fall and pointing to a swingier Mod style in black with jeweled buttons, he said, “It’s very Courrèges.”
Basso’s other determination was to make brown desirable for evening, noting there was a time when brown shoes for men were considered a faux-pas after a certain hour. The push was most convincing as a knife-pleated A-line dress in toasty umber-colored silk with a bodice of matching cluster sequins. Elsewhere, sable and mink boleros in arctic white were thrown atop siren dresses that glistened like Central Park in the snow. “It’s all about winter and staying warm and cozy,” Basso explained.
One could certainly snuggle up by the fire in the tweed or cashmere cardigan jackets and matching palazzos, but the pièce de résistance was a hooded sable cape, which Basso turned inside-out to reveal a lining painted with 24-karat gold. There might not have been a practical reason for such extravagance, but he’s proven time and again he doesn’t need one.
Launch Gallery: Dennis Basso Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection
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