Ahead of starting work on her new collection, Wendy Nichol
decided to build a dollhouse out of leather. Why? Because she could, that's why. And as she explained after her show, making that dollhouse inspired her to think about the women who might live in the house, and it was a short leap from that question to the answer supplied by the thirteen looks unveiled tonight. "The House of Leather" would make a pretty good name for a high-end bordello, perhaps one nestled in a bewitched bayou and populated by the most seductive, most expensive courtesans the world has ever known. And that about sums up this Wendy Nichol outing, as far as tone. Madam Nichol likes her girls empowered, though, lounging around in their yards of French lace and tulle, but embodying some female archetype as they do so. The archetypes this time out were Carl Jung's, and the clothes were lavish beyond belief. A robelike coat that, at first blush, looked like it was made from jacquard, turned out to be stitched together from three separate layers of delicate silk. The leather was all plonge, and the finale dress, in shimmering bronze, will retail for a cool $15K. It was quite a stunner, though, and at Madam Nichol's House of Leather, you always get what you pay for.