Thakoon Panichgul, recipient of a 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up award, showed a winning collection today at the Prince George Ballroom, building on the strengths of last season's flower-inspired show. As a former fashion journalist, the designer knows how to spin a tale, and one of the main characters in his romantic Fall story was Paul Poiret. Both the Frenchman's (in)famous lamp-shade dress and his house's signature rose were referenced, and Panichgul succeeded in modernizing the latter by working a floriated pattern in shimmering paillettes onto silk dresses.
However, rather than indulging in the 1,001-night fantasies Poiret favored, Panichgul focused on day and outerwear. Peacock-print silk dresses would work at the office or an art opening, while open-weave cocoon jackets and snappy seamed coats would be sure to stand out on the way to either. Panichgul even added a touch of sportiness, offering a chunky cashmere baseball cardiganalbeit one that looked better suited to a pitch meeting than the pitcher's mound. The terms "tee" and "sweatshirt dress" shouldn't be taken too literally, either, as the pretty items bearing these descriptions were sewn up in misty tulle and luxurious satin, respectively. The designer won't win points for some of his drop-waisted pieces, as they won't be flattering on many figures, but you can bet there will be a waiting list for the coq-feather dress and pencil skirt.