Can women feel empowered if their sensuality goes via the male gaze-filtered rulebook? Sportmax provided a compelling answer with its best collection in recent memory.
A long hallway cover in pink paint was dotted with doors that evoked the atmosphere of a pop-tinged boudoir — but this was no teenage fantasy. As the custom music composed by Teho Teardo hit the first notes, out came fierce ladies, looking dapper and sharp in their fashions.
A notion of fascinating perversion and mischievousness resonated in noir-tinged heart-shaped strapless dresses, so fitted that models would walk sensually even if they wouldn’t; boxy tailoring with elongated, square-shouldered, waist-fitting blazers was done in thick, mannish wool. It was accessorized with shimmering neon orange ties and enticing gloves cut just above the fingers, looking as if models had dipped them in wet paint.
The exacting hourglass tailoring was tempered via asymmetric fluid frocks draped on the body to erotically reveal hips, shoulders and legs, while body-fitting bias-cut concoctions in shiny vinyl with sculptural bodices were fetish-y. The mistress-y feel was carried over even when the brand toyed with knitwear frocks, body-caressing, single-sleeved and voluptuous.
The house, helmed by a design studio, cited iconic noir movies and dark heroines such as Kim Novak in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” Catherine Deneuve in “The Hunger” and even pin-ups à la Jessica Rabbit. No matter that the shoes — thong sandals with dangling chains — were a misstep, this collection sent a strong statement on the self-empowering influence sensuality has for contemporary women, too.