February 15, 2008
If you looked past the fetish-y, rhinestone-studded, cream-colored latex, there was plenty to admire in Milan up-and-comer Francesco Scognamiglio's show. Nodding in the direction of Yves Saint Laurent's late-sixties/early-seventies heyday and displaying a deft hand for couturelike cuts, Scognamiglio sent out bell-shaped coat-dresses in stiff gold brocade or boiled wool; slim-line suits in black or ivory with puffed shoulders and flaring, deeply cuffed legs; and silky blouses with exuberant bows spilling down their fronts. More up-to-date were his silk or nylon puffer jackets, especially the ones lined in fox. When it came to after-dark, an ankle-grazing, lavender silk shantung dress with a spray of crystals decorating the asymmetric shoulder line was almost regal, while a short and strapless number in the same material was primed for the nightclub dance floor. If forced to choose between the demure and the louche, Scognamiglio would seem to lean toward the latterthe clue was not only in that latex but also in the thigh-high crocodile boots. These were a less obvious, but still kinky, touch that kept the collection from looking like a nostalgia trip, and more like a sexy bit of fun.