March 06, 2009 Paris
Kokosalaki's leather and tarnished-metal embroidered jackets were outstanding, with cropped shapes that emphasized shoulders. Much effort went into taking the edge off on the glam-bling front, avoiding a trashy pitfall that has scuppered others this season. Instead, her chain-mail bolero and a cognac leather biker neatly sidestepped vulgarity while raising the pulses of onlookers who like to source a special piece from someone who (for all her experience) still counts as a discovery. Other pieces—Kokosalaki's asymmetrically nipped and draped nude jersey dress, and her whipped-around black tulle veiling over lingerie slips—were similarly right in line with what grander names have been up to this Fall, and arguably just as well done. After a decade in business, things are going her way. At the end, she laughed with a rhetorical Greek shrug: "Is it time for me to stop being a 'young designer' yet?"