September 19, 2004 London
For all the hype surrounding Deacon, it's still too early to say whether or not he's really going anywhere. He may have earned local raves for his seventies-suburban-ladylike vibe, but hardline critics find it impossible to imagine what woman could possibly wear those jazzily striped jacquard suits with the matching 6-inch wedges. Or find an occasion equal to one of his flowing printed scarf dresses or electric-blue sunray-pleated dinner gowns. Some might mutter, too, about the overtones of Vivienne Westwood tailoringnot to mention a smidge of Jean Muir here and quite a lot of pure Stepford Wife cheese there.
On the other hand, there's enough that is genuinely odd in Deacon's aesthetic to make it almost grotesquely fascinating. He has a small boy's interest in animals and insects, which crop up in motifs of apes, bees, scorpions, and lizards, or outsize marquetry plaques, which he fashions into vast pendants or bags. All of which provides a certain unsettling undercurrent to the pseudo-glam pastiche. That may not be a bad thing in a season of too much normality. But the jury's still out.