January 18, 2012 Paris
Francesco Scognamiglio may have looked to the ruins of Pompeii—"my hometown, my city," he called it—to create the prints he used in his latest pre-fall collection, but the driving inspiration for the new line, he said, was "American woman." American woman circa Dynasty, to be specific. The silhouettes did have the bigger-the-better shoulders and cinched-in waists favored in the eighties, albeit with a more elegant, European spin. (Scognamiglio said he was looking to the tailoring of Azzedine Alaïa, too.) With the dramatic proportions and his usual parade of see-through lace on display, this was Scognamiglio at his most baroque. But the emphasis on evening had a very good reason: It's what his clients demand. The designer reported that red-carpet requests are coming in faster than ever, and Madonna has just worn a pair of his flared trousers on the cover of Bazaar. "All of my clients, fortunately or unfortunately, are stars," he said with a shrug. A small professional hazard of making clothes that make any woman feel like one.
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