Karmen Pedaru was in the front row at Francesco Scognamiglio
's show. True, she's naturally blessed, but wearing high-waisted black trousers by the designer, the model had legs for days and days. It's no small skill to be able to cut pants as well as Scognamiglio can. He put a few pairs on his runway; there was also a trio of suits in wine, icy gray, and black with metallic embroidery, and they looked predictably sharp. Lingerie is Scognamiglio's other obsession—this was mostly a collection about underpinnings remodeled as outerpinnings. A fur coat was inset with a corset at the waist, and corsets in turn became miniskirts with elastic brassiere straps dangling from the hemline. Provocative, if not quite shocking. After all, Jean Paul Gaultier was doing this kind of stuff way, way back.
Where Scognamiglio went wrong was with his newfangled full-torso corsets. Made in conjunction with an engineer, he explained, they extended from right below the chin to the hips, and to the touch they felt like thin, rigid neoprene. In a flesh tone, they were particularly creepy, turning the models' torsos into smooth, featureless mannequin bodies. Where's the sexy in that?