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The Next Chapter

Couture's big guns aren't the only game in town - four smaller houses also presented collections with moods that ranged from quirky theatricality to high drama.

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Couture’s big guns aren’t the only game in town — four smaller houses also presented collections with moods that ranged from quirky theatricality to high drama.

This story first appeared in the January 25, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Avalon Vega: Daniel Fumaz and Samuel François’ second Avalon Vega couture show channeled Grecian, Indian and African influences. The wide-ranging collection — from a gauzy pearl dress cinched at the waist and draped with floating fabric to a sari-like apron skirt and tie-dye tunics — was a pretty, wearable mélange of far-flung inspirations. But if this design duo is serious about building a couture following, it better give its collection a much-needed upgrade of fabrics.

Franck Sorbier: Up to his usual theatrical antics, Franck Sorbier presented his couture collection via a series of quirky scenarios, from 19th-century damsels in diaphanous lacy dresses picnicking by a stream to tribal dames in embroidered linen gowns, some sporting raffia tutus. A few credible gems stood out from the mix, such as a delightful white embroidered organza coat, or a silk dressing gown with a splashy Thirties print. But on the whole the designer veered a little too eagerly into spectacle terrain.

Boudicca: Brian Kirkby and Zowie Broach, designers of the British label Boudicca, distilled their couture vision into a handful of outfits, most of which dripped with dark glamour, including a catsuit printed with roses and a dramatic gown with exaggerated decorative details.

Stéphane Rolland: Abbreviated looks worked best in Stéphane Rolland’s rambling lineup of after-dark numbers, which was sometimes a little heavy-handed on the sequins and flounces. Two of the most appealing styles were a textured minidress embroidered with silver brocade swirls and a silver-lined LBD that swooped open at the back.

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