Nicolas Taralis is moving up in the "ones to watch" ratings. A late evening slot meant it was a test of endurance for even the hardiest show-goer, but the audience, dotted with the tired faces of international buyers and editors, held on to witness this young German-Greek designer's third collection. What they saw was, in essence, a cross between masculine tailoring and gritty jeanswear, the emerging generation's representation of the school of Helmut Lang and Hedi Slimane (hardly surprising when you know that Taralis studied under the former in Austria, and worked with the latter in Paris).
There's something precise and Northern European about this designer's way with a tail-coat military jacket, a high-collared shirt, a lean, leather-revered tuxedo, and a pair of skinny pants (shades of Karl Lagerfeld in here somewhere). Taralis' distinctive take on the season's ubiquitous cape is a cloak with sharp shoulders that looks good short, in menswear jacketing fabric, or longer, in gray herringbone. Those piecesas well as a dull-gold lamé blouse with flying sleeves and black, sparkle-flecked evening suitingpass muster as nongirly formalwear. The other side of Taralis, though, comes straight out of the underground Berlin bierkeller: lean, rockin' black denim, crosshatched with a suggestion of bondage straps; sleazily cool patchwork black or gold leather parkas and bombers; ink-stained asymmetric cocoons made of chopped-up sweatshirts. As a whole, it made for a microcosm of the shapes and somber tendencies of the season, with a young point of view that's looking increasingly confident.