It was quite a find during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. At a Paris flea market, Andrew Gn scored an issue of Life magazine that documented Elizabeth II’s 1961 visit to India, during which she rode on a gilded elephant seated next to the Maharaja of Jaipur.
Despite his strong decorative streak, Gn etched his inspiration relatively lightly. “Its not full-on India. I also made a stopover in Japan,” he said backstage, showing off origamilike folds on bicolored shift dresses in a papery silk. His mantra this season: “Simple, but not plain.”
The show opened on a strong note with built-in shawls hugging the shoulders of sculptural dresses, and pearl-buttoned cardigan jackets that swayed over sleek pantaloons that Gn dubbed “taj pants.” They were chic and had a young spirit.
Embellishments looked striking and delicate: metallic paisley embroideries dabbed on the edge of a black tunic, and tufted silk feathers drifted down the front of a pencil skirt.
But the gracious Queen did not save Gn from overstatement of another kind. His flaring New Look day dresses and finale gowns in heavy duchesse satin seemed from another time.