story by Lisa Radano
photos by UdoR
Escorted by a caravan vision of happy gypsies, soothsayers, and exotic mystics, New York girl Mara Hoffman conveyed a Fall 2013 collection true to her brand, and a standout amid the many somber looks prevalent on other runways. Using every inch of the rainbow, plus a few metallics and neons, Hoffman’s simple short shifts, long columns, caftans, and pants came alive in a madcap assortment of prints so precious to the designer she named them: Caravan, Phoenix, Leopard, Suzani and Trickster. Embroidery and metal beading gave texture and depth to the rustic charm of the clothes. Cold weather-wear must be tricky for Hoffman, who is best known for her bikinis and resort line. Take away one of the few wrap coats – doff the selection of chunky pullovers, cardigans and shawls, each knitted up in her colors and patterns – and these optimistic outfits would, in fact, look just right on a yacht. Something to dream about when it’s cold and grey…
The Mara Hoffman customer has become firmly committed to the brand’s year-round offerings of color and print, and this season they are steadied against a wide stage of neutral black. From flowing chiffon to body-con knits and wovens, a girl could try the dizzying full compliment of patterned trousers, tunics, or blouses with long trains – or she might play it a bit safer and just opt for one piece here or there to brighten a bleak winter day.
Cozy sweaters or ponchos are along on the journey to balance the flirty lightness and protect against those winter chills. One particular sweater with an intarsia “all seeing eye” on the back seemed a possible touchstone for the collection. This eye of the world symbol is a universal emblem and is often depicted with glorious rays of sun emanating from its iris. It beckons followers to a place of peace, harmony and endless light. When asked about her place in the fashion business of today, Hoffman replied, “I don’t look to be a leader in American Sportswear, I just want to be a leader in light.”