Photos by Dan Lecca
It’s a little distressing to see Samantha Pleet without a hat. Emerging at the end of her Fall/Winter 2012 debut at New York Fashion Week—Pleet is part of a group showcase by Gen Art—the Brooklyn designer is missing her trademark topper. Her models, on the other hand, are all sporting wide, crown-less brims of burnished gold, looking like a cross between the haloed Madonnas of Renaissance art and a jejune Leslie Caron from the first act of Gigi. Her fall lineup, Pleet tells us later, is a “revival of Romanticism,” the artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that began as a backlash against the industrial revolution. It’s her way of fending off the harsh realities other people view as inevitable, she says; a candle held out in the darkness.