There's always been something in the sharpness of Marios Schwab's cut that puts you in mind of scalpels and the hand-eye coordination of a surgeon. That latent interest in the science of the body rose fully to the surface in his Spring collection. From his first dressa T-shirt shift with a thermo-image of body-generated heat in front and a digital print of something organic on the armsit was apparent that "body-conscious" was about to go somewhere the late eighties never delved: under the skin.
But before the squeamish send up the red flags, let's pretend we haven't been informed about Schwab's fascination with early anatomical dissection manuals and microphotography of bone and viscera. Scrub that prior knowledge, and what's left is a collection of scrolled-back, sculptural black body braces over lovely pink-, yellow-, and black-hued fluid prints: modern things that are young, strong, and feminine all at the same time. These were followed by a multitude of dresses, some in draped jersey, others in fluttery silk, that mark a distinct move toward prettiness, as well as a more forgiving fit. One such dress had a stunning back view, in which a jacket was elegantly sliced open to reveal a zipper spine and black pearls denoting ribs beneath. Others came with external body jewelry derived from internal structures of veins and nerves, though never to shock effect. As a creamy crinkled dress, delicately strung over with pearls, left the runway, it was clear that Schwab had managed to sublimate all of his academic research into something that could really add to the sum of joy of smart, young womanhood.