Pret-a-Reporter

NYFW: Dennis Basso Wants to Dress "The Untamed Woman"

Dan Lecca for BFA
Dennis Basso

Adele, Lady Gaga and Sofia Vergara all come to mind.

Just like Dennis Basso himself, the women in the front row at his fall 2016 show were over-the-top vibrant and glamorous — think style mavens (June Ambrose), Real Housewives (Lisa Rinna) and legendary models (Carol Alt). Another guest painted a more vivid picture of Basso’s archetypal consumer: Clad in oversize sunglasses and a matching fur vest, a woman carried a trembling Chihuahua — fur still damp from the NYC downpour — to her seat at the show.

And for his latest collection, these women are just the kind of “untamed” muses the designer had in mind. “The whole inspiration was the modern woman untamed,” Basso said backstage before his show.

“I could actually see Lady Gaga in many of these things,” he noted, adding that he could just as easily see Sofia Vergara and Adele in his latest designs. “All these women march to the beat of their own tune. They’re all really untamed and doing what they want to do, how they want to do it.”

The designer, too, certainly didn’t hold back this season, utilizing a mix of signature luxury elements — leather, velvet, crocodile and, of course, fur — with more youthful accents. Silk slips with lace details, feather trim and over-the-knee suede Stuart Weitzman boots, which are a favorite off-duty style among the Victoria’s Secret Angels, are the result of Basso’s efforts to evoke a sense of fresh, uncomplicated luxury.

When asked if she fit the mold of Basso’s aspirational woman, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Rinna, who brought her 14-year-old daughter Amelia to New York for her first fashion week, answered, “This is my 14-year-old, so clearly she’s untamed — untamed naturally. I am sort of untamed, actually, aren’t I?”

Ever the jubilant storyteller, Basso also provided a vivid backstory for the collection: “[The girls] are walking through the winter woods, feeling natural and casual but richly dressed, stumbling upon a magnificent manor house filled with handsome men and having a great party but all very natural and all very impromptu.”

We’ll take an invite.

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