September 05, 2008
Creating newness within a super-identifiable framework is the challenge Threeasfour's Gabi, Adi, and Ange have chosen for themselves. For Spring, they more than delivered on that front. The clothes, with their curving seams, drippy layers, and floating hems, looked unmistakably theirs, but they looked fresh as well. That freshness came in the form of E8 prints (remember Spirographs? These look like Spirographs on speed) that decorated an off-the-shoulder cover-up and a shorter shift. More subtly, it was there in the form of the cotton jersey Threeasfour used to turn their avant-garde silhouettes into way, way beyond basic white tees, as well as in the cutout swimsuits that they've put on the runway before, but are now finally able to produce.
The trio took a more freewheeling approach to accessories, too; the conch-shell cross sections that cinched metallic-leather sashes and decorated the necklines of dresses were chicer by far than the crocheted snoods and sandals. The finale gown, laboriously made from hundreds of capiz-shell discs that shimmied preciously with the model's every tentative step, drew clamorous applause, but it's essentially a showpiece. It's the less obvious dresseslike an A-line trapeze in blush silk georgette with a lace inset swirling below the kneesthat deserve the real praise.