Scattered around the room during the party that preceded the FrostFrench show were Kate Moss and Jefferson Hack, Sam Taylor-Wood, Dan Macmillan, sundry It girls, lots of babies on knees, and some cool grannies (Kate’s mom among them). On the white tablecloths, sugar-iced cakes sat side by side with killer cocktailsa juxtaposition of the sweet with the wicked that typifies the taste of the FrostFrench London girl in more ways than one.
Sadie Frost and Jemima French opened the proceedings by sending out Jacquetta Wheeler in a cherry-sprigged white swimsuitall fifties innocencewith a pink rubber Mackintosh shrugged on top. That knack for meshing the pretty with the perverse is what they’re all about: less a complex design process than the act of whipping up some fun with what happens to be in the wardrobe. “I don’t have the time to think out what I wear every morning,” said Sadie Frost. “But I always like that mix of feminine and tough, things you can pull on day or night.”
On the ingénue side, the girls offered forties-inspired sweetheart puff-sleeved print dresses, balloon-sleeved chiffon blouses in Ossie Clarklike seventies swirls, and outsize wooden-handled purses in the shape of granny’s knitting bags. Watch how they sex it up, though: adding perverse black inflatable arm-bands to an evening outfit of a sheer black camisole and silk knickers; or imagining how a lace-trimmed satin romper would do for daywear when pulled over a striped Lurex sweater. Throwing in some grounding pieces of rumpled cotton khakithe odd jacket or cropped pantdid no harm, either, steering the show away from theatrics and making it simply a practical inventory of useful stuff. “We don’t want to be overshadowed by gimmicks,” said Jemima French. “We’ve moved on. We want the clothes to speak for themselves.” Even the much-publicized breakup of Frost’s marriage to Jude Law hadn’t disrupted their focus. “Sometimes,” said Frost in the face of a barrage of TV reporters’ questions, “You just have to get stronger and face situations.”