In a season blooming with retro femininity, Collette Dinnigan
could scarcely have picked a better time to unearth a trove of different types of lace from the archive that she's developed over the years but never used. Her reason? "They're just so beautiful," she explained in a private appointment. And there's the fact that some are so labor-intensive, they're becoming extinct. Time to set them off into the light of day—or night, as the case may be for these cocktail hour pieces, many of which will be limited to production runs of about 40 dresses. Dinnigan cut them in her elegant little signature shapes—a nice way to feature them—like a kimono-sleeve minidress and her lovely, slim, cap-sleeve midi silhouette that was a standout in chic navy lace. The great thing about these dresses is their immediate appeal, though their simplicity is deceptive. Many have boning and layers of nude silk that seem to disappear when they're worn. The designer called it a "tattoo effect." Still, amid all the exquisiteness, one of Dinnigan's favorites had nothing to do with any of the above: a blousy pullover sequin dress that got its shape from a single gathered knot at the bust. "I love the idea of wearing something a bit loose on the red carpet," she said in her bright Aussie clip. "How cool is that?"