October 02, 2007
Some designers chase after cool; others are content to let the ladies come to them. And come they do to the Paris house of Andrew Gn. Inspired, he said, by the complete volumes of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle, he looked to flora and fauna to provide the luxe decorative motifs for his lunch suits, short cocktail numbers, and hostess gowns. White patent-leather butterfly appliqués appeared on a black linen dress with kimono sleeves, and embroidered black roses decorated a white linen coat with a Watteau back. The lilacs on an A-line coat-dress were so densely embroidered, they were a better-than-fair representation of the real three-dimensional thing. Such couture-grade handwork obviously doesn't come cheap, but then, his clients have deep pocketsand no inclination to hide the fact.
But it wasn't all embellishment all the time. Gn showed a new restraint in colorful silk dresses with little to distract from the flirtatious cut except frills of pleats around the armholes or lining the deep V-necks. Even more elegantly streamlined were the flowing one-shouldered silk dresses (one to the knee, the other floor length, both with floating back panels) that each came with a single black bow at the clavicle. The finale gown, white silk with long puffy sleeves and a black rose corsage at the cleavage, would make a lovely wedding dress. Looks like a new generation might come knocking.