February 16, 2008
What's missing from the modern woman's wardrobe? It's not the tunic dress, densely embroidered to evoke armor and featuring sheer, G-string-exposing, ruched tulle sides, that closed the Derercuny show. A blouse in black lacealso see-through, and with the puffed upper sleeves of a medieval knight's costumeprobably isn't topping anybody's must-have list either. But there they both were in Korean designer Mina Lee's third runway show for this Samsung-backed, Milan-based brand. Once upon a time (as in before she started showing the collection on a catwalk), Lee was known for the deceptively simple, wearable way she mixed feminine details with masculine tailoring. There were practical and chic pieces here, including a blouson sweater vest that topped a high-neck button-down chiffon blouse and long khaki flares, as well as on-trend, thick-ribbed, short sweater dresses that looked dipped in gold or silver paint. But they were lost in the Gothic haze produced by the out-of-date notion of building a collection around an inspiration as overt as the Middle Ages.