September 18, 2009 London
Jo Sykes, a debut New Generation designer with a background at Armani and four seasons' experience in selling, took full, refreshing advantage of the human interactive possibilities. She hired models of all ages, who wandered among her guests while she explained her collection—mostly minimalist, mannish tailoring pieces; charmeuse T-shirts; airy shifts; and the kind of buttery, elongated leather biker jackets over shorts that she likes to wear herself. "My mission is to design things that are gorgeous, simple, with an edge but not ridiculous, that women of all ages can buy into," said the 31-year-old. She proved it by putting 81-year-old model Daphne Selfe into a pair of silver leather jeans and a nude silk shirt, while MJ (a silver-haired model from the seventies) wore a drapey white pantsuit, and Georgina (a face from the nineties waif period) modeled a gray sleeveless jacket with shorts. "I'm just loving it that journalists are talking to them, asking how they feel in the clothes—how often does that happen?" Sykes exclaimed. The designer—who also has a second, lower-priced line, Sykes Silks—has professionalism and a flair for a neat accessory and stealthily sexy details that will take her far. The navy suede boots and the leggings with a sheer stripe in the back, imitating French seamed stockings, have "sold out" written all over them.