A Serb from the former Yugoslavia, Roksanda Ilincic settled in London and, for the past five years, has been working away at the margins of the fashion scene. What began as a hard-to-understand art-house operation given to wild prints and overstated shapes has now settled into something resembling a dressy evening collection. And this season, Ilincic's perseverance has at last earned her a place on the official London calendar.
At a breakfast show at Terence Conran's Bibendum restaurant, she demonstrated how well she's learned to temper her richly romantic Eastern European sensibilityif not her penchant for big shapes. She opened with a vast black and gold brocade trapeze dress with a deep puffy hem. That, along with an oversize flounced opera coat in vibrant purple silk, presented an interestingly crazed overstatement of 1950's elegance.
Something in those two pretend-couture outfits looked convincingly personal. The rest, though they qualify as pretty, au courant party dresses, some studded with Poiret-esque fabric roses, owed too much to last year's Lanvin to stand up as very original.