October 02, 2005
Before Filip Arickx and An Vandevorst's show began, a young woman took to the stage of the Elysée Montmartre with an LED screen strapped around her neck that read: "No flash photography, PLEASE." The odd request likely had something to do with the elaborate stage setupmodels stood behind a curtain facing a mirror angled toward the audience that displayed only their reflections before they descended a set of steps and made a winding path around the runwaybut one can't be sure. What was vaguer still was the connection that arrangement had to their spring collection. This Belgian team might be better off skipping the complicated staging and focusing on their clothes, which were often good, especially a dress of frothy white and gold lace that peeked out from beneath an iridescent raincoat.
For the most part, the looks were monochrome: A slouchy, off-one-shoulder jersey tee topped a pair of eighties leggings and a leather cummerbund, all in black; a tiered lace, below-the-knee backless vest was attached by hook and eye to a canvas skirt, both in white; and a fitted khaki blazer was worn with chiffon pants just a shade lighter and gathered at the knee. Despite the distraction of faded text printed on everything from cuffed cotton shorts to a leather bomber, their tailoring looked as strong as ever. Coats, many fastened with oversize plastic buttons, were among the show's standouts.