Nicolas Andreas Taralis—he of monochrome and exacted eveningwear and ready-to-wear from yesteryear—is back after a 36-month absence, showing not necessarily a reset, nor a comeback, but a fresh-start collection in Paris today after building up his business in China due to an “offer he couldn’t refuse.” That procurement included conceiving and building out his own stores; a project that allowed him to flex his precision in not just clothing, but also the space in which it lives. Taralis’s collection, though unmarked, is now dubbed, “The Grey Line.”
That fresh start was quick and strong out of the gate. Taralis showed men’s and women’s together, but made sure to delineate the difference. “The men’s pieces have a more unisex element, they’re very monochrome, black. And they are less of a fashion element than they are about functionality,” he said. This side included jumpers, some with strictly applied blocks of color (he’s venturing into color usage . . . more on this momentarily), clean-cut tailoring, and a general uniformity that Taralis is making more “democratic”—meaning he’s bringing down his price point.
But the women’s is where he impressed more. The designer played with a concept of duality; a “couture silhouette” slimline jacket, with bell-flares just below the elbow, was the nighttime mirror of the same piece, but done in padded nylon to almost parka-like effect for daytime (or cold nights). He did the same with a faux-fur, jumbo-collared coat—that being the evening equivalent of an overcoat rendered in the same, less formal nylon. Forays into color were also new and noteworthy: “There’s an acid green . . . it’s good to shock, a little bit,” he said. And through all of this, Taralis actioned a faint nod to what you might call naif sophistication. “She’s dressing up,” he said, “but it’s like she doesn’t really get there, in terms of the pure elegance.”