January 31, 2007
With his girls Debbie Bancroft, Valesca Guerrand-Hermès, and Lorraine Bracco perched in the front row, Douglas Hannant sent out a tenth-anniversary collection full of expensive-looking little skirt suits and endlessly bejeweled evening confections that appeal to women of a certain zip codeand upon which he's built his label. Taking the Renaissance as an inspiration, the designer inserted corsetry laces in the side seams of a fitted velvet jacket and at the back of a strapless gown. Cocktail dresses in metallic tweed came with puffed poet's sleeves or a tucked ruffle at the hem. And tiny silk Fortuny pleats cascaded from a ruff accented with a contrasting velvet bow.
Backstage, the designer explained that the theme stopped at the silhouette, which was lean and modern. "It's time to be sexy again," he said. And so, for good measure, he tossed in a couple of flirty flapper dressesone in tiers of gold chain fringe, another in black ostrich feathersand a sequin tunic that in its brevity channeled Edie Sedgwick more than the Mona Lisa. These last had a freshness that, a decade in, suggest Hannant sees the value in wooing a younger social set.