February 13, 2007
Back in the day of bias-cut mermaid dresses, Roksanda Ilincic was a lone London eccentric pumping up volumes in taffeta and duchesse satin. Now that the world is completely at ease with balloons, cocoons, trapezes, and megaflounces, her inflated shapes seem, if not exactly mainstream, then quite plausible for many a quirky party girl. ¿This season, I was interested in waves and motion,¿ she said, making flowy movements around her body with her long, pale fingers. The gesture made a good visual description of the bands of milliner's crin that served as volumizing decoration, rippling and whooshing along the edges of dresses, capes, and jackets.
Ilincic¿s appeal is in the spontaneity and refreshing lack of pretention she brings to her homages to old-world couture. The novelty of the frilly crin wore off with repetition, but there was something clever in the way it extended shapes (particularly shoulders) without adding bulk. Since her prices aren¿t astronomical, pieces like the flouncy capes and high-necked dresses are certain to be taken for many a whirl by girls who don¿t take their evenings too seriously.