Elise Øverland impressed Sunday afternoon at Exit Art in Hell’s Kitchen with a Spring 2011 collection that moved beyond her signature skin-tight black leather, demonstrating an expanded breadth of style. The collection was a needed maturation for the four-year-old label by the Norwegian platinum blonde who got her start styling rock ‘n' roll musicians for the stage. Socialites and rock 'n' roll royalty — like Nicki Hilton, Amanda Hearst, and Kelly Osborne — were seated front row.
The show began with a series of black and cream looks that were kept more town than country by unexpected leather accents, like a prominent black leather stripe down the center of a mod shift dress and a demure cropped pant paired with a sleek leather shell. It wasn’t until the eighth look that we saw spring’s incarnation of the after-party-ready, black leather mini dress Øverland is renowned for — and this season’s version is as sexy as ever, with a deep V down the front and cream canvas capped sleeves and collar.
Staying close to her musical roots, Øverland thrilled audiences with a surprise walk down the runway by acclaimed violinist (and gender ambiguous) Hahn-Bin in a black leather skirt. The palette expanded to include electric blue, turquoise, and olive. A color-blocked silk dress was easy-to-wear (not a term typically associated with Elise Øverland), and sleeveless blue top paired with a tiered and wide-slit black skirt exuded modern elegance.
A series of transparent black and white lace looks were simultaneously delicate and edgy. The lace was ideal for juxtaposing with leather, which Øverland did to perfection in a black leather jumpsuit paired with a bell-sleeved white lace top. Tiering was a prominent trend and was artfully executed on mini dresses and skirts in a variety of fabrics. The final pass of neon chartreuse gowns were brilliantly tiered in alternating rows of lace, iridescent edging, and peek-a-boo paneling — proving you can lose the leather but keep the edge.