A 9 a.m. market appointment with designer Roksanda Ilincic could send a denim-loving American editor running back to her bed. The London-based Ilincic is Eastern Europe's answer to L'Wren Scott—tall, gorgeous, and almost intimidatingly put-together. Their collections have their similarities, too. Both like the look of an ostensibly prim dress—long sleeves, hem below the knee, a collared neckline. But where Scott's have a Hollywood precision, Ilincic serves hers up with a touch of London quirk, which gives her clothes something of a more day-to-day feel. One sleeveless number was a patchwork of silk crepe in hot pink, neon orange, and chartreuse, and she used the same colors to create one of the collection's vibrant plaids.
Volume used to be Ilincic's thing. The last couple of seasons she's been thinking along stricter lines, but some of the magnified proportions she used to do have returned for pre-fall. Pointing out the exaggerated darts and oversize pockets on three-quarter-length dresses, she referenced the midcentury design legend Claire McCardell, who "casualized" and Americanized the more formal traditions of French couture. As it happens, Ilincic is doing her own part to add ease to the getting-dressed equation. Her chartreuse gown is actually two pieces, T-shirt and ball skirt, and they're made from a cotton-silk blend.