To the tune of “California Dreams,” Jeff Rei Kalinsky, formerly the iconic retailer Jeffrey, appeared on the runway in jeans and buttons, with a very editorial sweater tied across the chest. Wearing a Britney Spears-style headset, Kalinsky began speaking to a crowd that had gathered in New York City on the first rainy day in months. “It’s one of the happiest things I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing,” he began. “I love the word classic, I love the word modern, and creating modern classic clothing, I think is the greatest thing you can do. It’s timeless, it’s timeless, it’s polished, it’s complete, Unfortunately…it’ll be in your closet for too long.” The crowd laughed; the light-hearted mood was quickly established as the essence of the new theory.
Theory Set is Theory Set is Theory Set, but there are clear signs that this is the new vision for the label. Boxy jackets have pre-rolled sleeves so anyone can wear them and get them to fit the right way; dresses with simple A-line silhouettes and truly gorgeous ballerina necklines are elegant yet subtle sensuality. Kalinsky calls the coach jacket “one of the most important styles.” It comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, each imbued with a different mood. In one of the opening looks, he showed it wearing bonded satin with a crop top and mini-shorts, and later it appeared in carnation pink nylon over a matching carnation pink shirtdress, but in cotton. , and the color he calls a blue iris, but it’s definitely close to purple. The saturated color palette was specific—carnation pink, ruby red, white, cream and black—and injected huge punch into simple silhouettes, especially the low-rise, bi-pleated wide-leg pants. These are made from what Kalinsky has always charmingly called “good wool” and are very popular. They’ll look equally good with a skinny tee or Theory’s signature button-down shirt.
“Colors are very intuitive to me,” Kalinsky said after the show. “I’ve been obsessed with bright pink for a few years, and when I started working at Theory, I knew right away I wanted to incorporate it into the collection. We built the rest of the palette around carnation pink, adding blue iris , red garnet and bright orange, and beautiful neutrals.” Pieces made of bonded satin seemed to capture his ideals of the modern Theory woman best, especially the black slip dress with the perfect crewneck and below-the-knee length. It is this dress that can enjoy a long and fruitful life in any woman’s wardrobe.