Monse and I have had a very entertaining — to me — and tortured relationship. My instinct is always to roll my eyes, and then I have to step back and see if I’m being knee-jerk about it. Help me with this one:

I’m not sure if it’s a jumpsuit, or pants and a blouse, but if it’s the latter then they’re clearly all designed to be worn together. I definitely don’t love the pants that open up on the outside, and I think the pelvic stripe patch is a hair too cutesy. As for the shirt… the Monse aesthetic has, for a while now, been wrapped up in twisting and tweaking button-down shirts into something different. I think this version is close to working because Allison’s head looks flawless, and she’s giving this very complicated look a hefty dose of confident chill. That helps.  The giant cuffs flopping around and the buttons running down the back aren’t really my thing, but I at least understand; it’s like business-casual meets a lying around in bed all day wearing one of your sexual partner’s shirts and then shrugging and wearing it home. As a runway piece, I think it works, because it tells a visual story (even if my interpretation doesn’t match theirs, but hey, that’s art for you). On a red carpet, I think it veers AWFULLY close to silly, and that Allison is doing the yeoman’s work of saving it. What do YOU think?

AND FURTHER: The Monse people are heading back to Oscar de la Renta — where they worked for years before starting their own line — to be head designers now that Peter Copping is gone. At first there was a bit of WOE IS ME going on, but then Jess and I agreed that the OdlR era for which they were present was actually gorgeous and elegant and very Oscar. So maybe they’ll be just fine, because they might have an innate understanding of how to carry on Oscar’s aesthetic, and develop it slowly, without immediately veering too much into their own. All of which is to say, I don’t think they’ll be trying to turn Oscar into Monse — indeed, Monse will still exist — but they may have a great eye for turning Oscar back into Oscar and then growing from there. So maybe this will be a good partnership and we can all lower our temperatures. MAYBE. I hope. I’m certainly excited to find out.

[Photo: Getty]