Kinder Aggugini's debut might have come across as an entirely proper affair of tailoring and soft printed dresses were it not for the clue embedded on either side of Erin O'Connor's head. The model may have been wearing a quite conservative, though well judged, navy pantsuit and a couple of pretty layered camisoles, but her little flicked-up "ears" of hair directly evoked Soo Catwoman, the famous punk fixture of Kings Road circa 1977.
That giveaway is a key to Aggugini's background and track record: Far from being the usual defenseless upstart-around-London, he's an experienced Italian designer who fell in love with British street style of the late seventies and early eighties, got himself into Central Saint Martins, and since then has worked his way around fashion via a bespoke tailoring gig at Huntsman in Savile Row and studio jobs at Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, and Versace. He's been in business on his own account for two years, testing out his neat redingotes; double-breasted coats; Coco-channeling tweed jackets; and high-shouldered, narrow-sleeved evening peacoats on fashion editors—a picky lot who have flocked in increasing numbers to place private orders from him at his Bayswater flat.
It's given him four seasons' grace to work out signatures—polka-dot silk linings, ribbon ties laced into cuffs, antique jet buttons, tailor's tacks left to trace the lines of jackets and coats, and a way with splashy floral prints. The result: the welcome public launch of a brand that aims to approach a grown-up "working woman" wardrobe without the heart-sinking predictability that usually entails.