Julie Verhoeven is a London illustrator and freelance designer whose kooky talent has been bubbling behind the fashion scene for a decade. She’s done stints with John Galliano and Martine Sitbon, and was brought in two seasons ago by Marc Jacobs to design the cute, nutty patchwork animal bags for Louis Vuitton.
Now, with the backing of the giant Italian manufacturer Gibo, Verhoeven has been thrust into the limelight with her own collection. At 33, shes a child of the 80s, and the girl she sent out is the personification of the teen who came of age listening to Yaz and Culture Club. She paraded two-tone graphics and clashing colorblocked outfits, frilly blouses, rah-rah skirts and conical-heel pumps. The collection is self-consciously clunkyclothes for a girl making a desperate stab at being glam for her first foray to a disco, only to spend the evening blushing in the corner. Havent we all been there?
Gibo has serious plans for Verhoeven’s designs, including opening a store here next January. Franco Penne, who heads up the company, said he chose a Londoner to create this collection because Milan is about business, but London, whether it is up or down, is about creativity.