March 09, 2009
Raffaele Borriello and Julien Desselle showed in the same grand venue as before, the Cercle de l'Union Interalliée, but instead of a live show they arrayed glossy black shop mannequins on their runway and even posed a few in the front row. This money-saving venture gave the duo the opportunity to walk editors and buyers up-close-and-personal through the looks and, while they were doing so, explain how they were rethinking things. Happily, they have dialed down some of the more outré proportions that had burdened previous collections, while still retaining the couture feel they like to call their hallmark.
Working with intarsias, they spliced together stretch and non-stretch fabrics to create a body-conscious eighties mood in keeping with the prevailing trends. Highlights of the small line included their update of Le Smoking, a cropped black jacket with blue-edged pointy hems and shoulders à la Mugler; and blouse that mixed blush, lavender, teal, and gray silk, which was teamed with a high-waisted olive skirt; and a lone gown, fitted to the thigh then billowing to the floor below, that had real red-carpet potential.