There was a pretty impressive front row at this evening's Kevork Kiledjian show: Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Fabiola Beracasa, Tallulah Harlech, Leigh Lezark and her Misshapes compatriots, among others. Not bad for a designer whose name, for most people, rings zero bells. The skinny on Kiledjian is that he founded and designed the short-lived label Guilty Brotherhood, which had a firm following among hot-bodied women with lots of parties to go to and plenty of money to spend on themselves. Kiledjian's new, self-titled line, unveiled at tonight's show, is clearly aimed at the same customer.
And why not? There will always be a constituency for these kinds of clothes—strapless leather minidresses, body-hugging jerseys, silk lamé button-downs, and bootleg trousers redolent of the Tom Ford days at Gucci. Va-va-voom, etc. Kiledjian stays just shy of vulgarity, and even when he veers close, well, what girl doesn't harbor a secret desire to slither into a dress like the designer's mesh minidress wrapped in peekaboo panels of leather? The fact that there are vanishingly few women with the body or the nerve to pull off that dress only makes the fantasy that much keener.
But what does the fantasy cost? That's a literal question, not a query demanded by feminist scruples. Kiledjian's clothes are going to be expensive. The materials and production here are high-quality; the details, assured. A very good shearling jacket with contrast suede details and zip-off sleeves earns its price, whatever that may be; so too, perhaps, does a crystal-dusted velvet turtleneck dress hemmed in fringe. In general, though, Kiledjian is still developing the originality of vision a steep price demands.