By Elizabeth Wellington
The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Over the years designer Paula Hian has had her fair share of fits, starts and fashion drama.
For example, Hian swears the belted plastic raincoat she developed in a Paris factory in 2005 was copied by at least two well-known designers who shared a manufacturing facility with her.
Although the Paula Hian label received a bit of Hollywood buzz back in 2007 when Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen wore the designer’s bubble-hemmed frock on an episode, the artsy dress with the golden chain-link bodice never became a must-have.
And while I’ve always liked Hian’s slim-fitting jumpsuits, she probably would have gotten more traction had she debuted them last year rather than 10 years ago. After all, 2014 was the year the tight one-piece met the firm backside.
But I think Hian might finally be onto something with her foray into the classy world of fine-gauge knits.
These aren’t the chunky, oversize H&M sweaters we’ve been layering over leggings this fall.
Or the stiff yet sometimes too revealing Herve Leger-esque banded sheaths that seem to be, don’t tell the women of the Real Housewives franchises, on their way out.
No, Hian’s knits are fluid and figure-flattering fancy. Infused with spandex, her fall pieces are of a heavy ply that molds to the body without showing panty lines, while the spring-to-summer wovens are cool and breathable.
It’s a process that has taken about four years fine-tuning in France, and now Hian’s knits are finally getting on camera. Today host Natalie Morales wears them on the morning show. And this fall, Fox Sports’ NFL sideline reporter Erin Andrews was seen wearing a few pieces.
The silhouettes are simple, including a-line skirts easily worn with silk blouses (also in her collection), and sheaths with ruffled hemlines.