February 18, 2008
Rifat Ozbek's past is colorful enough to make you wish you'd lived it with himand so he offers you clothes that make that a distinct possibility. In his latest collection for Pollini, he was inspired by his teenage life as a glam-rocking Central Saint Martins student in London. To a charging soundtrack of vintage Roxy Music and David Bowie, Ozbek offered his own take on the golden years of glitter (necessarily abstracted because no one has that kind of joyful innocence anymore). Was that Amanda Lear's beret we just saw? And didn't that printed culotte suit echo Ziggy Stardust? Quite frankly, if this was your era, Ozbek would have had you at the hello of an obi-wrapped coat-dress with fox-trimmed cuffs and hem. Bowie's early seventies fascination with Japanese style was mirrored in the Kansai-like stiffness of fabrics like silk brocade (cut into huge, flared "samurai" pants) or kimono prints used as a print on a chiffon shirt or as the trim on a tweed kimono jacket.
Ozbek wanted to convey a luxurious tonethe cuffs of a tweed coat were wreathed in huge paillettes, its neckline was swathed in flame-dyed fox, the matching boots were orange. But it was really his unholy enthusiasm for a fabulous moment in his own history that energized the presentation. And that was enough to compensate for clunkers like a sequin-bodiced cocktail dress that might have graced Angie Bowie in one of her less glittering nights down at the Sombrero. BTW, shouts out to Erickson Beamon for the jewelry.