February 10, 2008
It's only her second season showing, but Louise Goldin stepped onto the runway with a reputation for pushing sweater dressing into a new zone of fashion relevance. After her small but widely acclaimed Spring show of bright, short shapes, she needed to over-deliver to impress, and she knew it. "Since the minute I finished the last collection," she explained, "I was researching Inuit culture and sci-fi, experimenting with computer programs so I could mix traditional pattern with the pixelation you'd see on a monitor screen." The result: a parade of "Space Eskimos" equipped with short multi-patterned dresses, some padded, others armorlike in the shoulder; thermal body-hugging catsuits; and fur-trimmed jersey parkas. (In a prestigious collaboration for a young designer, Pierre Hardy stepped in to design the shoesfab patent cutaway high heels with integrated stripy socks.) The result, close-up, is a feat of engineering ingenuity that also contains a lot of sensible girl-think, which should put her in good stead as the chill winds of recession set in. Break down this sophomore collection, and buyers will find roomy sweater dresses and regular knits alongside the more demanding fit-and-flare body-con pieces and the pricier fox-trimmed jackets.