How many ways can you riff on the quilt? Serious quilters would say the options are endless, but there are limits when it comes to a designer’s specific aesthetic. Sea’s Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan have become a resource for quilted coats, circular skirts and even t-shirts, usually in pastel hues and voluminous silhouettes. Just when you expected them to tire of quilting, they came up with a nifty new technique for spring 2022: spiral quilting, in which circles of fabric are twisted and tied together, looking like small candies. The spirals appear here on a crop top and pencil skirt, and at the brand’s headquarters in Canal Street, Paolini pointed out how the skirt’s lining could be easily removed. You can wear it over briefs, leggings, briefs, etc. which makes it more of a style piece, similar to a chainmail top, but pastel cotton.
Quilted vests and quilted jackets echoed the skirt’s Neapolitan color scheme, while cotton blouses and dresses featured quilting squares on the sleeves. All this softness was counterbalanced by a group of newly sensual pieces, like flowery dresses completely open in the back; blouses tied with large cutouts at the breastbone; hand-crocheted briefs and bras in geometric patterns; and a no-frills ivory denim tank dress that plunged below the rib cage. Beach clients love pretty prints and mega-volumes, but this dress looked like a nighttime hit, one you could layer over ruffled blouses or wear alone on sweltering July afternoons.