February 17, 2003 London
In this debut collection, Verhoeven showed wide-collar two-tone coats, shirred and draped purple slink dresses, lots of leaf-shape cuts, plenty of novelty buttons, quilted satin, sproutings of lace, and giant excrescences of junk jewelry. Was it ugly? Yesbut, arguably, not ugly enough. Things seemed to be complicated by the need to provide a semblance of commercial sanity in the collectionhence the skinny black pants that kept turning up and the drabness of the color palette. If Verhoeven had run amok with nasty 80s color clashes and had had full-on ironic fun with the tacky exuberance of the time, she might have ended up with something so bad it was good. Instead it just came off as rather sad.