What with the string quartet with the balalaika playing at the show, and the babushka headpieces designed by Piers Atkinson that topped several of the looks, it wasn't difficult to discern where Eudon Choi
had sourced his inspiration this season. Yes, Mother Russia was in the house, and in a big way. Choi is a designer who likes a theme, and this one worked for him; it introduced a richness and romanticism to his erstwhile architectural aesthetic. The strongest looks here wore the Russian folk theme lightly, diffusing it into cozy sensuousness—to wit, the full skirts in organza or chiffon-backed jacquard, or the terrific pink knit jacket with a graphic panel of wine-colored leather. This was Choi's first season doing knits, and it's not surprising that his best execution was in his outerwear; his reputation as a designer to watch largely rests on his phenomenal parkas and mannish coats. Another Choi signature is his use of embroidered embellishment, which he typically deploys in a graphic way; the crystal florals he showed here weren't terribly confident, but they didn't lack charm, and in any case it was nice to see him expanding his vocabulary. All in all, this felt like a formative collection, with Choi working to add new dimensions to his brand.