I'm a bonafide Tuleh girl, when Bryan Bradley launched the girly line in 1997, I thought for certain it had been created for me, or at least someone like me in mind' beautiful clothes with playful details for those of us yearning to embrace, if not celebrate our softer side. We ladies take immense pleasure in weekly manicures, having our hair done, never leaving the house unless in full make-up; generally doing our part to make the world a prettier place, and unapologetically so. We're the glamour squad, hear us roar! Within a decade since its arrival, Tuleh has undergone a few changes, namely the departure of co-founder Josh Patner, who left to pursue a career in fashion journalism and muse and Creative Director Amanda Cutter Brooks who left to write a book [although rumors were swirling last week that she may soon be named Vanity Fair's Fashion Director.] Still, Tuleh remains a favorite amongst the social set, and the 35 looks that Mr. Bradley sent down the Promenade runway on February 5, was one of the prettiest collections to date and one of my favorites of the week.
No doubt there was an east coast Patrician feeling to the Tuleh Fall 2006 collection with nuances of 40's glamour. Jimmy Paul for Bumble & Bumble left the hair long and down, tucked behind one ear, adding body and movement with curl at the ends. A side part allowed the hair to fall and frame the face, just over one eye with a come-hither look. Polly Osmond created a powdery finish, with an arched brow, pronounced cheekbones, and kohl on the top lash. Placing the focus on the Tuleh face all on the mouth, a sultry red pout completed the look. Picture the breathtaking Lauren Bacall as she turns to Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not before exiting stage right when she naughtily asks, 'You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow.'' this season the Tuleh girl embodied this spirit with a knowing smile and wink'
As Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Cities in Dust' came pouring from the sound system, the bevy of beauties with short red nails strutted out representing eleven categories from the 'Vassar Girls' and 'Suitcase Girls' to 'Edie Beale' , 'Wealthy Women', and 'High Rollers'. Everything from the pencil skirt suits and the cinched-waist coats, to the cropped furs harkened back to an old world glamour. Mr. Bradley's ultra-feminine collection was romanticized with floral prints and oversized rosettes and bows, often pinned to the shoulder corsage-style.
One of my favorite ensembles from the 'Vassar Girls' was a glen plaid skirt suit ever so sweetly secured with a bow at the waist. One of the 'Suitcase Girls' looked rather smart in a luxurious camel coat with a Âballooned sleeve (the shorter sleeve was a big trend for the season, perfect for pairing with a longer glove) I was hard-pressed to choose a favorite from the 'Furs' series, there was a leopard coat with a contrasting snow white collar and cuffs, a shorter mink with undulating ruffles, and another with exaggerated shoulders. Signature florals were represented here as well in shades of red, yellow, green, and purple; I especially liked one dress that had a flurry dandelions running up and down the front.
You know those dreaded surveys that ask you to name five articles of clothing you would save in a fire? Without a doubt, one of my most coveted items is a silk floral blouse I bought years ago. It was my first Tuleh purchase' with puffed sleeves, the white gardenia flowers pop against a black canvas and is one the most exquisite floral prints I've ever come across. I have an affinity for botanical scenes; especially on silk scarves, [peonies and roses are my favorites.] It's the easiest way to inject color into my monochromatic wardrobe of black. Sometimes, I go into my closet just to admire the beautiful blouse with its delicate glass buttons, there amongst my other treasures. Hmm' but perhaps I could be like one of Mr. Bradley's 'Suitcase Girls' and throw in as much as they can hold before making my great escape. One thing's for sure, with a collection this lovely, come fall you'll be ready to load up your steamer trunk with wares from all the 'Tuleh Girls'!
Photos provided courtesy of Getty Images, photographer Mark Mainz.