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A Japanese nature influenced collection has great potential to turn kitsch— exactly what the last Ports 1961 India-themed collection was criticized for— but this time around, Tia Cibani turned caricatures into a less conventional image. Shades of mauve, ivory, pink and bronze quietly stunned, while the clothes maintained this delicacy through its fabrics. Taffeta dresses, organza blazers and satin blouses dominated the collection. However, the structural aspect seemed to be Cibani's greatest source of inspiration, and will no doubt draw in plenty of customers. Cocoon frocks, flattering draping, pleats and origami-inspired intricate neck and sleeve shapes insure that these pieces won't be for the wallflower. Wide wrap belts, a cue from the Japanese Obi, also created interesting shapes with flowing dresses and skirts. Exotic, fun extras such as stingray pumps and clutches and vinyl statement necklaces were reminiscent of the Ports 1961 spirit, without being too heavy-handed in most cases. In a brilliant move, Cibani used bamboo to support some of her more intricate clothing. This trick, like the rest of the collection, was a perfect marriage between beauty and functionality. To achieve the same look as Cibani's ladylike designs with an ethnic twist, wear a classic shift but add in a colorful sash belt or swap your Westernized jewelry for piled-on bamboo bangles.
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