On Monday night, Peter Dundas returned to the runway in Paris after a four-year hiatus, flooding the gilded interior of the Opera Palais Garnier in red light for his sultry collection of seafarer and siren looks, which nodded to his Norwegian upbringing.
In recent seasons the now Los Angeles-based designer has said his eveningwear fans have been asking for more from him, so he started expanding his tailoring offerings, using skills culled while working with Jean Paul Gaultier, among others.
Inspired by his family’s connection to the sea, including his father’s career as a naval officer and uncles who were ship captains, he opened with a group of long and lean great coats, capes, structured suits and sailor pants (worn with cable knit tank body suits, natch), picking up on the uniform trend that’s been in the air this runway season.
For knitwear, Dundas looked to his grandma’s hand-knitted Fair Isles, which in his hands became a sexy sweater and matching bikini briefs. And Celtic symbols adorned burnout velvet dresses with the feel of negligees.
In keeping with Dundas’ reputation for seriously sexy gowns, sheer bias-cut looks with cutouts, lace and web panels were as revealing as anything we’ve seen on the runway this month, with just thongs worn underneath. Even Jessica Stam’s cadet blue backless column dress had a G-string peeking out.
“We love having shows where it feels right. We haven’t been here in a while, I lived here 20 years, it’s kind of my hometown,” the designer said before being hurried off by well-wishers congratulating him, and cooing over his 18-month-old son Alexios, who was dressed appropriately in a pint-size sailor outfit.
It was nice to see him back in the City of (red) Light, though with Dundas now in L.A., more and more his brand is becoming synonymous with the work he does for celebrities like Shakira, Mary J. Blige and, most recently, Latto at the Grammys, not to mention the L.A. fixtures he’s cast in recent look books, including Paris Jackson and Heidi Klum. It seems like a miss not to have that earned brand currency front and center, as it could be with an L.A. runway event, for example.