February 11, 2007 London
Ingwersen, a Danish eco-activist who is developing a sustainable cotton farm in Uganda, seems overanxious to prove that humanitarian fashion can be sexy. Often, it crops up in the form of black leather among the otherwise sharp jackets and luxuriously crisp mannish cotton shirts that are Noir's strongest established staples. Until now, it hasn't been too difficult to avert one's eyes from the odd pair of leather trousers, but this season, Ingwersen's heavy-handed Weimar Berlin theme almost scuppered the show.
It was conveyed with lashings of the usual Cabaret clichébutch ties, silk-and-lace lingerie, even a fetishy leather policeman cape. As for the flashy crystal-diamanté bras and buttons, and Baron von Richthofen jodphurs: No. They were laid on so insistently that the audience┐s goodwill could be felt draining from the room at every exit. And that┐s a major pity, because beneath it all, the clean, nicely tailored core of Noir isn┐t a dark and pervy proposition. The world is ready to equate eco-soundness with cool, and Ingwersen shouldn┐t be afraid to show his clothes without the distracting trappings of a heavy, and not very original, theme.