Preen's "Power" dress has been popping up more and more on young Hollywood starlets, and its snug fit, cutouts, and ultrahigh hem provided a continuing template for a sexy, spot-on Fall collection that designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi said was influenced by Quadrophenia and Blade Runner. The former inspired the mod A-line shapes of a few shifts and the oversize black-and-white houndstooth of the coats, some of which were accented with big hunks of black Mongolian lamb. The latter movie's Sean Young character, "an android who didn't know she was an android," was the model for the fit-and-flare apron looks.
In the end, though, this show was really all about the body-con dresses. Cutouts are Fall's first big trend, and Preen has pushed the concept further than any of the look's proponents so far. Many of the pieces won't, ahem, cut it in the real world. A leather dress with slits below the bust, at the waist, and up and down both sides is fit only for the inside of a very dark club. And global warming or not, there's nothing practical about a jacket with rib-shaped holes in the back, although sans cutouts its strong shoulders and sharp lines would make it a fast seller. Without a doubt, the collection's less aggressive numbers will have legs. It won't be a surprise when the frocks that closed the show, with their swirls of rainbow-bright stretch hammered silk and white mesh insets, land on the red carpet.