Balancing consistency and novelty is a challenge for all brands. Representing something is just as important as avoiding being stuck in a “box”. Sea’s patchwork creations have had a string of successes. Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan didn’t give up on these — one of the protagonists of the Pre-Fall collection was a quilted chinoiserie jacket with piping — but, Paolini said in a preview , “We’re trying to move forward and explore different things.” Smart move.
The Shanghai way of making a tailored jacket is to apply lace trim, for example to create a scalloped hem. The ruffles have been reduced in size but not eliminated, with a miniature flower made from stretchy swimsuit fabric that stays attached to the body. While there’s still some puffy shoulders, the volume moves south to fill the balloon skirt mini.
Chinoiserie tie and button closures are used as decorative and functional closures for dresses, sides of trousers, lace mesh knits, one of which is worn over distressed leather skirts And a jacket for an urban vibe. Knitwear with lace intarsia was especially lovely, as was a white shirtdress with layered cutouts. Another favorite is the oversized floral embroidered bomber jacket.
Balancing good looks with a relatively tough look (see shredded denim, leather, and enzyme-washed cover-ups) is a challenge for Paolini and Monahan are still working out, but their instinct to push outside their comfort zone is correct.