My first exposure to Barbara Tfank, the designer and the person, was her visit to Houston for Fashion Houston last October and her P.A. the day after at Neiman’s. I learned from her then her philosophy of creating timeless dresses, using the finest European fabrics and expert tailoring. Seeing her collection of mostly dresses at a Manhattan Art Gallery last week, reinforced that this idea continues.
Much is discussed on whether her look is retro and/or even vintage, but Barbara feels rather adamantly that is not her direction and that instead it is futuristic and timeless. In fact, for those that see her collection for Fall, there is a Mad Men feeling that you could see Betty Draper gracefully parade out in one of these dresses (I think it might have been the hair-dos), but Barbara loves to correct the Mad Men references saying that she was doing “her look” five years before the show debuted on TV.
Her collection this season is inspired by what Barbara refers to as “The Magic Hour,” “an enchanted time when late afternoon transitions from the vivid blush of sunset to the translucence of an evening sky gleaming with stars.” Her goal, she says is to find enchantment and beauty and that hour of the day is the most joyful.
Joyful was also how she described feeling when she saw Michelle O. wearing her cobalt blue dress for the recent State of the Union Address, which BTW is not the first time that our First Lady has worn this designer.
Keeping in mind that Barbara feels her clothing to be timeless (a word I’ve said too many times, but feels the only appropriate description for clothes that she says she designs so that you can wear them for five years and not be embarrassed! Having said that, I have approached my selection of images carefully to be of this feeling……beautiful styling in rich, luscious fabrics.