October 07, 2009
Winning the French ANDAM award may only have shuffled Giles Deacon to the graveyard slot on the Paris schedule, but he made the very best of the situation with a spoofy-spooky Scooby-Doo-ish show starring his very own Daphne (Guinness, that is). Debuting on the bottom rung of the Paris schedule after years of being top dog in London didn't faze this most genial of designers. Instead, it made him sharpen up his act so that the cute, sixties-cartoonish, neon, pastel, and metallic collection full of delightful prom dresses turned out to be the first truly coherent outing of his career—with tons of playful accessories thrown in. "You have to make it more concise here," he said. "I just wanted to do more real-life, obtainable clothes." Deacon's line is now produced under a new license deal with the Italian manufacturer Castor SRL. That means his deliciously detailed peach, apricot, and lime froufrou dance dresses and Monroe-ish sheaths in draped tulle or 3-D "dragon-stitch knit" (a genius design by Sid Bryan, a London specialist friend) may hit stores at a competitive speed next spring. They deserve a place, too—as do the nutty, teenager-ish accessories: Cutler and Gross "Scooby" sunglasses with pink printed frames, spider and scorpion jewelry, neon pegs and gold-plated bulldog clips to stick in hair and festoon collars—not to mention really silly soft-toy dinosaur bags. Like so much else this season, Deacon's collection is young, and it has a believable, cheerful personality that should see him holding his own. As a footnote to the season, Deacon also smartly confirmed the new shoe shape that will come as a blessed relief to all the platform-weary fashion foot soldiers who are limping home from the field on planes and trains right now. It is, of course, the kitten heel. Deacon's version is attached to a long, low, pointy plastic and snakeskin last—provided by Christian Louboutin. Let's hope he makes enough to slake demand.