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Robert Cary-Williams placed a big antique wardrobe in front of his Neal’s Lane Studio, and invited the curious into his private world. Cary-Williams loves to deconstruct, and he showed long, pieced-together army coats, little tea-stained dresses and tweedy jackets. T-shirts, though tattered and shredded, were still delicate and cool and hinted at the new diffusion line the designer will unveil this season in Paris.
Identical twins Tamara and Natasha Surguladze of Tata-naka are quickly making a name for themselves and already count Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz among their clients. Cotton dresses came in washed-out shades of white, duck egg blue, candy floss and beige and were decorated with child-like sketches of houses, animals and hearts.
Inspired by “Belle du Jour,” Warren Noronha showed equestrian-like tailored pantsuits with lace-up details on the leg, and jackets with high collars and bustle backs. For evening, there were silk flapper dresses and others with plunging necklines, inspired by Aubrey Beardsley prints.
Tracey Boyd grew up this season, showing off beautifully tailored, hipster pants and T-shirts with cap sleeves made of feathers for Boyd. Her very feminine eveningwear featured floor-length, cream silk Grecian dresses with Empire waists and white Fifties-inspired prom dresses decorated with crystals and silver sequins.
Fake London turned out its signature street-inspired, urban looks: linen parkas with hand-painted details on the back, frayed mini-kilts and bodices in pastel pinks and blues and trouser suits with combat pants. Models marched down the catwalk in cowboy or porkpie hats and carried bottles of Moët & Chandon on their backs. A girl can get thirsty in that urban jungle.
Sadie Frost and Jemima French sent out a parade of cute cotton pinafore dresses, white lace tops and short jumpsuits on a green faux lawn set for FrostFrench. Frost, who’s married to Jude Law, has just had her fourth child, so it’s no wonder her silk wrap tops came with matching baby carriers. There were cheers and screams all around, but one can’t help wondering whether FrostFrench is more about the clothes or the women behind them.
The denim pieces — including short, uniform jackets, wide-legged overalls and jeans — were the stars of the Eley Kishimoto?collection. But Eley Kishimoto should have stopped right there. Their swirly Seventies wallpaper prints in shades of pond green, red and brown that covered everything from A-line skirts and dresses to shiny plastic raincoats were just plain sad.
Jessica Ogden showed a collection of pretty tea-stained cotton apron dresses in washed pastel and biscuit shades. Prints featured messy, paintbrush strokes, scribbles and doodles. As usual, hemlines were long and unfinished. While Ogden’s style is whimsical and fun, she needs to come up with some fresh ideas.
Once again, Elspeth Gibson turned to the world of sprites and fairies for inspiration, showing bias-cut dresses made from washed silk, some of which were embroidered with threads and beads. Her crumpled silk pajama pants, and delicate mohair knits were pretty, but Gibson has gone down this path before.
Antoni Burakowski & Alison Roberts stuck to their signature slogans — and it seems the Antoni & Alison duo is in a rut. Their brightly colored T-shirts and knitted sleeveless tops screamed “Pansy,” “Pretty Boy” and “Hip Hop,” but maybe they should have read “Enough Already.”
Roksanda Ilinic was the star of the Fashion East group show, taking Ossie Clark’s rich hippies modern. Her prints: poppies and peacocks. Her cut: cool caftans and Forties-meets-Seventies glamour gowns with a ruffle here and a lantern sleeve there.
(For London and other Fashion Scoops, see page 16.)