September 20, 2001 London
Boudicca's masked models stepped out to a menacing soundtrack that featured the whir of surveillance helicopters. In homage to the early British warrior queen for whom the label is named, many of the clothes were dyed woad bluethe color of the war paint that she used. The severe tailoring and complex dressmaking, meanwhile, conjured a couture vision of the '50s, as filtered through an early '80s electro-pop sensibility. Boxy shouldered jackets and trousers with squared-off box-pleat hems were juxtaposed with pencil-skirted '50s air-hostess dresses or elaborate evening gowns. The gowns, in taffeta and old-fashioned brocades (and featuring the most hard-edged use of eyelet embroidery so far this season) had the look of midcentury haute couture pieces, their elaborate construction paradoxically set off with raggedly unfinished seams.
Memories of Genoa were reflected in cryptic detailslike brass name tags, or the legend "FAULT," with an arrow pointing toward an arm seamthat cannot have the same resonance for those who weren't there.