Come on, Carlos, you can do better than that! I’m not sure what the Brazilian designer was thinking when he assembled this collection, but it was an absolute belly flop. And in borrowing the flowing Siamese fighting-fish shape from last spring’s line and keeping with the sleek cowboy theme he started this fall, Miele’s bill for 2013 wasn’t even an original flop.
The abstract safari style felt more gauche than graceful, and the Miami art deco references more cheap than vivacious. Miele’s coral-reef color palette proposed early in the show was mildly encouraging, but its appearances were brief and quickly forgotten. While the flashier looks seemed to channel iconic villain and vixen types (recall Disney’s Ursula and Cruella de Vil), everything else amounted to filler. Even worse, the stock of placeholder pieces stood out in their banality more than they blended in, exposing the show’s lazy allusions to the exotic (picture monochromatic looks in “water” turquoise, “jungle leave” green, “dirt and sand” gold, etc.) for exactly what they were—lazy allusions. The only few salvageable looks were odd to begin with, and belonged in other collections completely; like the pseudo-conservative sleeveless shell and belted pant in blazing leopard print, which might have been put to better use by someone like Betsey Johnson (…about three years ago). And while the final look in contrasting animal prints was gorgeous, it’s also a dress Miele has mastered before.