Doo-Ri Chung took quite a few confident steps forward with her fall 2005 collection, even if the footing of her models didn't always look quite so sure. They were balanced precariously on futuristic silver constructions of metal and plastic, and didn't so much strut smartly as totter tentatively down the runway.
But this is only a minor quibble. From a designer who made pastel-hued draped sporty tanks and short dresses the mainstay of her spring collection, fall was a quantum leap into new territory. Chung added short, swingy double-breasted salt-and-pepper tweed jackets that were worn with stovepipe black pants with snaps on the legs, and sinuously draped evening dresses that sleekly fell to the floor. Both the jackets and dresses were deftly embellished with Swarovski crystals, imbuing her look for next season with a certain low-key luminosity.
What was most intriguing was the way Chung balanced the qualities that women expect from cutting-edge urban fashionsportiness and sex appeal, in equal measurewith the contemplative, cerebral nature of her own approach. The latter is a legacy from her time spent working with the late Geoffrey Beene, and there were certainly some Beene-isms evident herenotably the silver yoke neck on a gray jersey dress, or the crystal-studded bra cups on a black strapless dress. Yet Chung is also blessed with her own vision of what women want to wear right now, as evinced by a gray cashmere top, its deep V-neck traced with silver sequins, worn with an ivory silk tulip skirt, and an understated, but utterly perfect, charcoal flannel trench.