Playtime with Rachel Antonoff

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Rachel Antonoff presented a collection of whimsical yet extremely wearable (save for maybe the tutus) dresses, blouses, and high-waisted pants for her eponymous SS10 line at the Henry Street Playhouse last night on the very same stage that her teenage grandmother had once put on plays (a fact the designer learned only after choosing the location). Certain outfits called to mind the kind of thing Katherine Hepburn might have worn while vacationing on the Cape circa 1940s. Quite a few looks, on the other hand, would likely have proved too girly for Ms. Hepburn’s taste — helping establish a level of cuteness augmented by the fact that the models decked out in said styles could be found engaging in a sword fight with their haphazardly crafted props.

Formerly at the helm of the now-defunct Mooka Kinney (alongside designer Alison Lewis, who has since likewise branched out on her own), this may have only been Antonoff’s second namesake collection installment. But it by no means bears the marks of a newbie. Given the presentation’s theme of play (the Playhouse, the mannequin in front constructing a house of cards, and, of course, the aforementioned taped swords), I asked Antonoff what her favorite games are. Not surprisingly they involve the imagination more than a rulebook (after all, the stage was marked by sings for the “Enchanted Forest” and the “Un-Enchanted Forest”). “My boyfriend and I play this really stupid game called ‘What would you rather …’ and it can just go on for hours. Like, if you could have one thing forever: bread or cheese? I think chocolate and cheese was the toughest. It can be anything, but usually it focuses around food. Although, we do ‘Which celebrity do you think is hotter’ too.” The only thing missing was burlesque maven and Citizens Band member Sarah Sophie Flicker, who had to cancel her performance after falling ill last minute.