The mob scene at the door of Sophia Kokosalaki's Fall show was reminiscent
of Alexander McQueen's last days in London. And this time, the crowd
included McQueen himself, struggling through heavies and St. Martin's student
gatecrashers to watch the greatest remaining hope of this city go through
It was certainly the most polished collection London has produced this season, even though Kokosalaki reverted from the gentleness of her Summer show back into the darker sources of her imagination. To the hard-driving, neo-industrial beats of Kraftwerk and Joy Division, she showed a collection based on black, with an intense concentration on the kind of lashed-together collage cutting seen at Balenciaga, Helmut Lang and Hussein Chalayan. Kokosalaki said she had been thinking about "typography and textureand, without being religious, about the symbolism of crosses and runes." Which translated into jackets and tops cut away to resemble jigsaw puzzles of fabric, then strung together with spider-web threads across the torso. The skill Kokosalaki refined during her stint at Ruffo Research, meanwhile, was amply evident in her highly desirable signature leather bombers, decorated this season with curlicued embroidery inserts. And her Greek heritage was referenced in pants that were tucked, Cretan peasantstyle, into flat, black knee boots. This designer knows where she's coming from. The question is, where is she headed next?