pleats please

New York Fashion Week beckons, and once again, we all wait in anticipation to be thrilled and excited by new ideas and ways to wear what is really an essential item - clothes.

"Essential," however, becomes "dreamy," when it looks like this -

I've always been a fan of Sophia Kokosalaki, and was thrilled when I heard that she was going to design for the house of Vionnet. Far from being a one-note designer (for someone who made her name on pleating), I love how Ms Kokosalaki has managed to create a look of her own - romantic, refined, but very urban and not at all coy.

The glimpse I got of the collection she did for spring in the December issue of American Vogue wasn't particularly thrilling -

Very pretty yes, and in all likelihood beautifully constructed, but I remembered hoping that the collection didn't consist entirely of bias-cut gowns.

I'm not a fan of designers who ONLY do eveningwear, because while it's stunning to look at, I think it smacks of limited vision - it's not challenging to design only flights of fancy; it's far more interesting making ideas work in an everyday context. That's what ready-to-wear, for me, should be about.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, this piece (described as being from the ss07 preview collection) feels far more promising. The dress has all the elegance and fluidity of classic Vionnet, but feels very modern (must be the pockets, I am addicted to pockets). It has the ease and nonchalance of contemporary fashion. I would wear this dress in silk for evening, silk cotton for day. shows more rather interesting pieces, such as trousers and a great-looking trenchcoat, that are echo the themes of Vionnet while making it look new again - definitely worth paying closer attention to.

I hope I'm not setting myself up for disappointment when I say I expect great things to come from Vionnet.

Picture taken from


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