Gabrielle Greiss' last job was creative director at Sonia Rykiel, but her own aesthetic is much quieter. Showing by private appointment, Greiss referenced Corinne Day photographs, dreamy Czech nouvelle vague films, and dancers as inspiration for her debut collection of 20 dresses. "I love the idea of beautiful evening dresses worn in a grunge way," said Greiss. "As if the girl stole it from the flea market."
In an appropriately ethereal palette, she worked quite a bit with papery matte organza to create loose, layered dresses in deceptively simple T-shirt and slip silhouettes. These were tucked and draped for a sheer-opaque peekaboo. "I wanted to experiment with how you could be a bit cheeky but not exposed," Greiss said. Some dresses had gumball-like beads just under the surface, which read a bit like a crafty school project. They made the naïve, childlike point, but felt a bit less than luxe.
The things that might qualify as cocktail and evening here wear like T-shirts—well, with enough finesse to justify a designer price point. A coppery silk charmeuse gown is simple from the front, but has sides that flap around an open back and fasten with long thin ties for an elegant effect. Certainly Greiss' blouson bouclé dresses with their just-dramatic-enough low, curving necklines require a refined eye and some skill. The designer also managed to find a bouclé that reads polished but feels like terrycloth. You won't find anything like that at les puces, but those dresses are surely worth a stakeout.