More women should know Sisi Li’s name—women who, for instance, shop The Row or are counting the days until Phoebe Philo launches her new collection. Li’s Nells Nelson clothes are up there in that elevated echelon. Since launching five years ago, she’s specialized in knit suits that are as easy-wearing as woven suits can be constricting, but without sacrificing any of their polish. Li’s a fabric obsessive, so even her shirting is often cut from cashmere; this season there’s a snap pocket button-down in a thick gauge that has to be felt to be believed.
The appeal of this collection goes beyond lofty fabrications, though. Li has been working hard expanding her vocabulary beyond two- and three-piece suits, and for fall she likes the look of a long, narrow skirt, minimal save for a drape at the back that lends the silhouette a sense of romance. A pair of shirt dresses follow the same lean lines—note the horizontal seam at the waist a couple of inches above the belt. Li put the seam there, she said, because she didn’t want the dress to look “too perfect.” Draped across the hips, the asymmetrical hem of a fine gauge sweater achieves the same lived-in effect. Another piece worth mentioning is the trench cape hybrid, especially the version lined in quilted down. It could elevate just about anything, including Li’s must-try knit joggers.