February 16, 2006 London
Right now, young London stylists and editors are buzzing about the short sexy dresses of Versace and Alaïa. Schwab, a Greek/Austrian designer, is one of the few capable of rechanneling that enthusiasm into clothes that don't look embarrassingly retro. His short hourglass dresses in double-knit jersey, silk velvet, or gold and black brocade, come embellished with fronds of gold metalwork that curve around the bust. Other looks bespeak a fascination with the techniques of old-fashioned corsetry: A high-waisted skirt has a girdle panel in the front, and a seemingly stark little black dress turns to reveal a curvy bustle and erotic insets of lace in the small of the back. Schwab is humbleand sensibleenough to participate in a joint show organized by Fashion East, this time in the civilized surroundings of Terence Conran's Bluebird restaurant in Kings Road. Next season he should fly solo.