For spring, Michelle Ochs found inspiration in Emily Dickinson’s dried flowers from her famed herbarium. Ochs found creative propulsion in considering the “mortality of beauty,” as well as the immortality of the preserved petals—beauty that doesn’t die, but just shifts. That’s a heady starter, but it was counterbalanced by an element of “just a little bit of ’90s-era” fun, as she put it.
If the quaint nostalgia of papered flowers and the shellacked and high-armed obviousness of the ’90 might feel at odds, Ochs did a good job of making them work together. Take, for example, chainmail tank-tops juxtaposed with a knit sweater, crewneck-collared but open and wavy, like a peony, around the hem. Or: A power-shouldered white dress (very Kris Jenner in her [Robert] Kardashian-era) offset with orchid-mimicking chrome hardware attachments. There was a springtime focus on denim, as well, spliced into separates and sometimes embellished with crystals in the shape of wildflowers. A black dress section—“we’re not too mortal, I swear!”—featured the skin-baring cutouts for which Ochs is known, paneled with that chainmail, or even pieced together with more denim, this time dyed noir.
There’s a knowing smartness in Ochs’ approach—she’s true to her aesthetic yet there’s something distinct and cool as to how she fuses ideas (which may partially explain why clever celebs like Iliza Vie Shlesinger and Aubrey Plaza are fans). The product outcome can sometimes be esoteric or eccentric, but it largely works—and to broaden her catchment, spring saw the introduction of yet more separates, which started to ramp up last season. They’re “essentials but not run of the mill,” said Ochs.