September 18, 2007
Richard Ascott and Philip Colbert are fantastic at popping up placesthey're the highly spottable guys who've been seen around New York and at couture shows carrying matching parasols for the past couple of years. So internationally ubiquitous have they been that, until this week, few realized they're actually London-based. They are, though, and this season they presented themselves to the British Fashion Council and said they were ready to put on their first show, in the very cool ex-butchery refrigeration warehouse they have overlooking Smithfield Market. They got their slot to show a collection they say is "aimed at the same sort of market as Phillip Lim," one that's accessible and mid-priced. Which is both sensible and ambitiousthough, to judge from where they are now, it's going to be quite a stretch to achieve.
They said they'd been inspired by A Clockwork Orange, but it hardly showed in the clothes, which were mostly minidresses in mod-ish sixties checks, shirtdresses, and a couple of print shirts. The best thing in the collection was a gold lamé wide-lapelled coat-dress. In all, though they've cultivated an image of charming amateurism, they need to put their fingers on a distinct design identity before they invite people over again.