You'd never guess that Sharon Wauchob's micro print, which looked like city lights from a plane window, was inspired by early video games. "It's not the era that I'm from," she said backstage. "I was visiting it for the first time." Otherwise, the Irish-born designer was in familiar territory, figuring out how to make luxury and exquisite femininity for a modern woman, as she does each season. Today that made for some of the most polished and beautiful clothes Wauchob has shown to date.
She began with pleats, working with her usual French experts, experimenting with fabric weights, either by layering silks or piecing organza with wool and leather and re-pleating the whole shebang. It sounds complicated—and in a few collaged numbers it was—but the result had immediate appeal. A black wool dress, pieced with mink and leather and slashed to reveal a swingy panel of sheer pleats, was beautiful enough to garner audible approval as it glided by. Mink and leather on a dress? It may sound a bit much in theory, but it worked. Overall, there was a greater sense of luxury than is usual with Wauchob, most overt in sleek coats with lush, half-draped fox collars. Wauchob has used fur before, but these provided an unaccustomed sense of pure pleasure. As day turned to evening, there was a touch of pixilated sparkle in clusters of tiny crystals. They skewed sci-fi on tailored jackets and pants, but on a couple of dresses that mixed various types of lace, they twinkled like a perfect starry night.
With so much looking backward by designers in recent seasons, it isn't easy trying to create modern clothes that don't leave you cold. But here was a finely balanced proposition.