Emilio de la Morena describes his style of designing as “structural chic.” That description would seem to be quite fitting and appropriate for his spring/summer 2014 collection. It is easy to think of this line, and Morena’s approach to fashion, as something of a construction project. He seems to enjoy finding new ways to put pieces together. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

One result of this approach is that his silhouettes are fairly columnar. It’s not that Morena is a minimalist, but rather that in making his separates interchangeable the result is inevitably straight lines. The look isn’t overly full, neither is it excessively tailored. One might even be tempted to think of the clothes as stacks of soft building blocks.

Not that the clothes are unattractive. Morena puts together separates quite well and his dresses are especially fun when he dusts off some Spanish elements and tosses them into the bodice of a dress, for example. There is shape and there is variety in his designs.

Morena’s color palette is limited, however, and his use of a rather blah khaki color in several pieces muted the excitement the audience might have had when he did finally get around to introducing color. The combined look too often comes off as too utilitarian.

The upside, however, is that the collection is very wearable and appropriate daywear. A majority of the pieces in this collection would be appropriate office wear, and the remainder would suit well a casual evening dinner. There are plenty of options that make these good, solid additions to one’s wardrobe.

Morena’s line is also fairly accessible. One can find it in several stores across the US or through his web site.

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