New York Fashion Week: Barbara Tfank’s Instagram inspiration

(Mike Pont / Getty Images)

Los Angeles-based designer Barbara Tfank is known for her retro classical take on feminine dressing. But it was a discovery on Instagram -- the artwork of contemporary painter Anne Siems -- that inspired her spring collection shown at New York Fashion Week.

Siems, who lives in Seattle, works in a folk art style, creating portraits of women inspired by illustrations from medical and botany texts.

Tfank was taken by the “mystery of feminine energy and sensual connection to nature” reflected in Siems’ art, she explained. “Women in translucent gowns, surrounded by embroideries of flowers and vines.”


The look: Secret garden romance.

Key pieces: Blue, green and yellow floral vintage Bianchini Ferier bow-print tissue taffeta full skirted gown with gathered bodice and sweet bow details at back. Black and white cotton full skirted cocktail dress with off-the-shoulder bows. Black slim cocktail sheath with keyhole front and bow detail. Metallic brocade skirt worn with crochet top. Aqua and white brocade short-sleeve shirtdress.

The verdict: Tfank’s fabric sense is a marvel. The brocades and vintage prints she sources are truly special. But what made this season’s collection stand out in particular were the more understated pieces in black and white. Wardrobe workhorses to last forever.