On the very day when London was smarting from a Wall Street Journal attack on its inability to muster wearable collections funded by serious businesses, its first new showing was a wearable, focused collection by Sinha-Stanicfunded, it so happens, by Aeffe, one of Italy's most serious fashion businesses. Fresh out of Central Saint Martins they may be, but Fiona Sinha and Aleksandar Stanic don't conform to any freaky, exasperating English stereotype. For a start, she's British-Indian and he's Croatian. Then there's their drapey, understated cut and interesting proportions, the kind that look good on a cool girl like Sinha. "If she couldn't wear it, I wouldn't want to make it," said Stanic, sweetly.
They sustained that thought convincingly through a show that opened with a short cream belted wrap coat with rolled cuffs, which showed a flip of silver skirt beneath. Using jersey, crepe, chiffon, and the occasional herringbone tweed, they managed to balance their act between soft wrappings and easy structure. Slim dresses came with sequined apron tabards and suspender backs, or more simply, square-cut with a nice loose hang from the shoulder. Some of the layered jersey skirts and wispy tie-on tops were a tad overcomplicated, but the raglan-sleeve herringbone coat, with its larger shoulder line and leggy length slung a hip new proportion.
In all, this was a remarkably accomplished first outing for a pair of designers who competed for last year's hotly contested Fashion Fringe award, and lost by a squeak. The publicity rocketed them to the attention of Aeffe executives, who've gone fishing for the future of fashion this season in London's international gene pool.