Batsheva New York Spring Summer 2019 Collection. PIC: The Washington Post by Jonas Gustavsson
Inside Tribeca’s vintage Square Diner, with its mid-century patina and aroma of over-heated coffee, about a dozen models are not so much posing as loitering. 

They are munching on chips as they perch on red vinyl banquettes. Their eyes are heavily lined and their hair has been teased into 1950s bouffants or roller-set into exaggerated curls.

And they are wearing dresses by Batsheva Hay, a former lawyer who has a love for prairie dresses and buttoned-up ruffly blouses in old-fashioned cotton. Her business began two years ago as a passion project and has turned into a hot topic. And she is now a finalist in the CFDA-Vogue Fashion Fund competition.

The fashion industry has given them their backing, and the modest, old-fashioned sensibility has had an influence far beyond their current popularity, which is rising.

There’s a ripple of reserved femininity running through fashion. Young women have been drawn to dresses with small-scale floral prints, puffy sleeves and poofy shoulders. Hay’s vision is purist.

Her work has a retro sensibility but she uses contemporary fabrics.