Long and elegant, and put together with an eye that recalls seventies Saint Laurent, Roksanda Ilincic's collection has moved on to a different plane from the charmingly gauche fabric experiments she used to show at breakfast time in a café. Now she's in a serious establishment venue in Westminster and designing for a woman who's reached the stage in life where she wants to be elegant for real, rather than playing at it. Ilincic's thing these days is purely eveningwear, with a strong shoulder and either draped charmeuse pants, a sinuous bias-cut skirt, or a high-impact cocktail dress.
Partly, it's forties Hollywood in spirit, and her new tuxedo dress or a teal bias-cut skirt with an ice blue shell are ready for their event-season close-ups. (She's even found a solution to her former ragged edges, adding a ribbon of stretch black tulle to finish her garments, a minimal, pretty device that also has the effect of quietly branding her clothes.) The shorter dresses she does now are also much more controlled—simple shapes, but cut from amazing fabric, like a gold brocade number with a hitch in the hem, or a great, deep sea green one in a kind of supple canvas with a ripple of fabric down the spine.
There was, of course, an African tribal-art influence in there, which only brings the subject back to Saint Laurent again. Where Yves went with feathered and beaded dresses, Ilincic followed with her showpieces. Still, the most dramatic item in the show was free of any reference: a liquid navy-blue metallic jersey floor-length toga. Bravo to her.