Count Kinder Aggugini among the London designers bringing Girl Power back into vogue. He has been tussling with the fraught state of girl-ness, in this case loosely defined less as a time of life than as a state of being: His girls, of any age, are struggling to find a balance between society's feminine codes and their own restless, rebellious instincts. That's an interesting starting point for a collection, and Aggugini made something interesting and rather beautiful out of it, though his interpretation of the theme was more narrowly referential than, say, Christopher Kane's abstract take on it, or Meadham Kirchhoff's manic, political stance.
The big reference here was the nineties—to some degree in the look of the clothes, and very much in the collection's ersatz, roughed-together tone. Given that the decade was perhaps the peak era of riot grrrl thrift-binning, it makes sense that there were references from other eras embedded in the larger one: Apparently, Aggugini's strategy was to gloss a variety of silhouettes from the girl-power heydays of yore. Thus there were drop-waist dresses redolent of flapper apparel; bias-cut frocks that updated World War II-era looks; and minidresses, replete with studs, based on punk motorcycle jackets. The latter came off a bit novelty, but on the whole the dresses were very good, and were threaded through with signatures like painterly floral prints and studious unfinishing.
There was a dreamy feeling here, accentuated by the slight off-ness of Aggugini's cuts, as well as a clever obscuring of print beneath layers of semi-sheer chiffon. The effect was very winning. He also did well with a group of dresses embellished with both flower petals and punk pins—the motif could have been too on-the-nose, in terms of the theme, but the embellishment was well judged, and the dresses too damn pretty to complain about, really. On the whole, this collection was an evocative one for any woman who came of age in the nineties, or any younger woman who fetishizes the era and its girlish insolence. Aggugini nailed the mood.