The allure of Batsheva has always been designer Batsheva Hay herself. She started her brand making clothing she’d like to wear, then friends in New York propelled her personal designs into a business. In the four years since, Hay’s operation has grown immensely, with global stockists and categories like homewear, accessories, and fun collaborations. In Manhattan, she’s moved out of her home office and taken over two spaces in New York’s Garment District: One holds her studio and design team, just down the hall a room overflows with floral prints, ruffle dresses, and tiny tchotchkes in Hay’s ditsy patterns. For pre-fall, she scans the rail in her studio and says, half surprised, “For the first time I’m making things that I wouldn’t wear.”
How can a brand so personal evolve and succeed as its orbit grows beyond its iconoclastic founder? The good news is Hay is always—and has always been—willing to share her weirdness. Even if she holds up a block print checkerboard print, a bustier maxi dress in black, or a tank dress as items that don’t jibe with her personal style, she is quick to find ways a Batsheva acolyte could incorporate them into their wardrobe. Layering remains key. New dress shapes like a mod babydoll in black eyelet and a ’70s-inspired, A-line shirtdress broaden the offering and edge it, just maybe, into more quote-unquote normal clothing territory.
Of course even a Batsheva basic comes with a little cheeky wink. Her chambray shirts and white blouses are predicated on giant pouf sleeves and adorned with excess eyelet ruffle trim. There is a new pajama set and a continuation of her pantaloons and ruffle-trim trousers, now in dusty caramel florals and navy moiré. The tenor of this kinda weird, kinda normie clothing feels right as we kiss 2021 goodbye and look forward to the first (we hope) good new year in a while. Everyone will come out different, a little better, a little worse, and a lot stranger.