February 19, 2002 London
Erin O'Connor set the tone when she strode out wearing a pinstripe bustier with a foulard flounce at the front and matching pantsnot exactly career dressing, but drop-dead elegant from head to toe. Other versions had jackets, again with bias cutting falling in subtle folds in front. Noronha said he'd persuaded Savile Row tailors to get him the best menswear material to work with. "I'm trying to make old things fashionable," he said. "You can do anything if you cut it outrageously enough." Noronha, an ex-assistant of Antonio Berardi, also believes in dresses. For this show, some were also done in pieced pinstripes, with corseted midsections, others in silk draped to fall in dippy asymmetrical hemlines. A kimono theme featuring ultrawide sleeves slightly overwhelmed some pieces but, in all, this was a collection that showed conviction and growing accomplishment.