Backstage tonight, Francesco Scognamiglio was feeling energized. "This is my favorite collection in the last ten years," he said. "There's a good energy in my business right now; I did everything with my heart." You could never call Scognamiglio a designer with a commercial mind-set, not with an item like last season's pearl-studded, cream-colored rubber number to his name, but even for him there were pieces here that pushed the boundaries. A keyhole dress that was more keyhole than dress, for one, and a bum-grazing French maid frock in peekaboo black lace, for another. It's with outré looks like those that he's become a favorite with Gaga, Riri, and a superstar who must remain nameless until she shows up at Oscar parties in L.A. this weekend wearing his creations.
There was, however, a lot more here than showbiz bait. Yes, Scognamiglio loves kink, but he's not so shabby as a tailor, either. He showed snazzy high-waisted trousers, some featuring sculptural fans of fabric at the hips, and delicate silk blouses that felt very Old Hollywood in their proportions. A pair of strong-shouldered ivory pantsuits, in particular, would've had Joan Crawford itching to ditch Adrian. Same goes for the two long-sleeve gowns with the thigh-high
slits: The one Coco Rocha wore was decorated with a gold harness molded to resemble roses and thorns, and Saskia de Brauw's came in ruby red with matching Swarovski crystals. Nothing old-fashioned about a white down jacket with curvilinear quilting and a bold, cocoon shape. It looked not only like an editorial hit but also like a model for a very retail-friendly coat line. That's not just show business, it's good business.