February 28, 2005 Paris
But despite her talent and experience in her adopted city, Kokosalaki is effectively starting over as a rookie under the brighter and more unsparing lights of Paris. In this environment, even young designers' collections are judged against the technique, quality, and attention-holding coherence of the best and most brilliant. Unfortunately, this season Kokosalaki lost marks on those points, perhaps after expending too much effort on a complex leather placket and shoelace motif (gleaned from a book on Samurai armor), and struggling against budgetary constraints. But the fact that her reputation is capable of filling a room with the most-important editors and buyers (and at nearly 10 p.m., too) shows how many people are rooting for her to step up to the next level.