Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear
September 18, 2009 London
Kinder Aggugini once referred to his work as an unholy marriage of Coco Chanel and Sid Vicious, which signposts his own special brand of sophistication—superchic, somewhat unsettling. His Spring show was called "The Loss of Innocence"; the invitation featured a battered Snow White figurine; a music box tinkled as the audience filed in. So far, so macabre. And that impression was subtly compounded when the first models emerged. With hair ringleted and lips reddened, they looked like dolls, and their clothes were dolls' dresses that had been taken apart at the seams, then reconstructed with inserts of racy adult fabrics like black lace and pin-dotted tulle. Aggugini created an exaggerated hourglass silhouette with full overskirts that flared off the waist like a bubble, forming aprons and bustles and panniers. There was something of a Fragonard milkmaid about the result, like Aggugini's ex-employer Vivienne Westwood or maybe even Marie Antoinette playing country girl in her Petit Trianon. Either way, the volumes didn't play to the designer's strengths as a tailor, so it was a relief to hear him set them aside as showpieces. "I sell more jackets than dresses anyway," he said later (though he also noted that the post-show response to the full skirts had already been so positive he might consider production). And he'll likely be selling plenty more of his jackets, especially with standouts like the silvery number lined in gossamer-light pink tweed, the cropped houndstooth, or the topstitched swallowtail based on a military jacket from the Crimean War. His evening dresses also shed the fairy-tale frippery in favor of an entirely grown-up world. A python-printed gown in laser-cut nylon, hand-painted in neon shades, floated down the catwalk, an edgily graceful collaboration of man, woman, and machine.