February 09, 2005
At Wolfgang Joop's sophomore New York show, each model was followed down the dark runway with a spotlight, creating an intimate focus on the clothes and showcasing, the designer said, "the investment of workmanship in each piece." And what workmanship it was. A majority of the looks, like a sand-colored suede dress worn with flats or a flouncy taffeta number paired with ballerina-style pumps, featured meticulous piecework in an abstract wave pattern that captured the designer's concept for the collection: movement. "Fashion is not art," he said. "It comes alive when someone is wearing it. And in New York where the designer lives in Bill Blass's former apartmentthere is no rest."
A red taffeta coat popped; tweed toppers had oversize buttons and fur trim; and a coat of sheared fur, dyed navy, had all the subtleness of velvet. Joop's technical virtuosity was better spent on the dressy pieces than on some of the tweedy daywear which, when pieced and deconstructed, tended to get bulky. For the most part, though, this was a collection that reflected a designer in cool control of his talent.