Badgley Mischka Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection
The concept of spring revival takes on a different meaning after months of indoor living and restricted movement. This new definition was on the minds of Mark Badgley and James Mischka as they began work on their spring collection. Back to a favorite reference – the wardrobe designed by Orry-Kelly of Bette Davis in the 1942 drama Now Traveling—The duo set out to create clothes for women ready to return to the world at their best. Butterflies, a recurring motif in the film, have made their way across several pieces, representing the theme of transformation. “Now Traveling has a whole scene about butterflies, and then there’s the glittery butterflies that adorn Bette Davis’ cape, ”Mischka said. “We felt our client was a bit like a butterfly; she’s been locked up for so long, but now she’s ready to come out of her chrysalis.
Undertaking such a change requires an optimistic outlook or clothes that can evoke that mood. Badgley and Mischka doubled up in playful details like pastel fringes, glitter sequins and a series of prints filled with illustrated flora and fauna. These elements were used with intention; a flock of toucans could fly through a maxi dress, while beaded pearls added whimsy to a work blazer. As Davis’ heroine Charlotte Vale made her debut onscreen, she wore portrait necklaces and frills to illustrate her evolution, and the collection took that idea and followed it. Necklines – curved and framing the face or plunging deep Vs – stole the show. While the focus may have been on the ornamentation at the top, the duo weren’t thinking about Zoom. “When all the details are in the bottom half, they can be lost [once you sit]Badgley said. “We do a lot of podiums with the presenters or for the red carpet. Keeping the ornaments above the waist brightens up the face, on TV and even when you are just having a delicious dinner at home.
Among their very social clientele, Badgley and Mischka have noticed a change in the way they want to dress for such occasions. Not quite ready to give up the ease, they crave voluminous figures and clothes that move with the body. The desire to make your entrance is still there, but it comes with the desire to stay comfortable 24/7. Spring’s flagship products seemed to meet both needs; the “look at me” appeal of a lemony pleated dress with a ruffled train was evident, but so was its relaxed vibe. The same goes for Badgley and Mischka’s crimson version of the cotton eyelet dress and these reflective two-piece suits. Fittingly, the pieces splashed in the season’s butterfly emblem were designed to float as the wearer walks into the room and spreads their wings.