September 16, 2008
Turning Japanese did Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke a world of favors. Between Hokusai past and Blade Runner future, Japan offered the master printmakers so much inspiration all they had to do was keep it simple and let the prints shine. And thatmercifullyis essentially what they did. From the moment Vlada Roslyakova hit the runway in matching top and leggings with a sculpted obi belt anchoring the look, the eye was dazzled by furious collages of pattern, some of them beaded, or over-embroidered, or crystallized by Swarovski for added eye appeal. Japan also provided the origamilike pleating and folding effects that drew simple jersey shift shapes in at the waist or puckered the fabric of a sheer blouse so it looked like a huge ruffle round the neck. Such effects may sound tricksy, but in fact they served their purpose in enhancing those gorgeous prints. Attention must also be paid to Raouda Assaf's shoes (the heels artfully carved like Japanese ivory) and Stephen Jones' headpieces.