This turned out to be a strong season for Sophia Kokosalaki: It's been ten years since the Greek-born designer emerged in London, and it so happens her particular métiers of drape, leather, and rock-inspired imagery are now slap-bang center stage as live fashion concerns. "The first materials I could use when I started were leather, jersey, and tulle, because they were the only things that were easy to find," she remembers. Practice makes perfect: The collection she sent out was a natural-born, authentic take on cool, bejeweled rocker jackets and non-chichi draped dresses—a clear statement from one of the only young female voices to have a credible say on the subject this Fall.
Kokosalaki's leather and tarnished-metal embroidered jackets were outstanding, with cropped shapes that emphasized shoulders. Much effort went into taking the edge off on the glam-bling front, avoiding a trashy pitfall that has scuppered others this season. Instead, her chain-mail bolero and a cognac leather biker neatly sidestepped vulgarity while raising the pulses of onlookers who like to source a special piece from someone who (for all her experience) still counts as a discovery. Other pieces—Kokosalaki's asymmetrically nipped and draped nude jersey dress, and her whipped-around black tulle veiling over lingerie slips—were similarly right in line with what grander names have been up to this Fall, and arguably just as well done. After a decade in business, things are going her way. At the end, she laughed with a rhetorical Greek shrug: "Is it time for me to stop being a 'young designer' yet?"