February 22, 2009 London
Until now, the trouble was that it was all getting a bit lost in yards of loopy, semifitted, frayed-edge material. But it seems the bracing reality of this year's economic chill made her shape up, finish seams, sculpt shoulders, and clarify the fact that she can offer separates like beautiful, draped silk velvet tops, and not just party dresses. It hasn't been at the cost of her essential character, though. Ilincic has been working massive shoulder volumes for at least three seasons, and now they fall within the realm of the acceptable. She's also deft with fabric and color, choosing crocodile-stamped gunmetal brocade, violet duchesse satin, and silvery panne velvet this season. Ilincic is moving toward a mastery of the formal skills that will showcase her flair better than ever.