Francesco Scognamiglio has been through his share of downs and ups lately. Losing a business partner, going it alone in a city notoriously difficult for fledgling independents, finding a new business partner. Tonight he was in the ascendant, with a collection of delicate, just a little bit dirty 1930s-inflected dresses. Long sleeves, bias-cut silk, below-the-knee hemlines, lots of boobies. Scognamiglio has never shied away from the nipple, and they were on proud display here. It’d be nice to see him address modesty-preserving lingerie at some point, but for the moment we’ll let the sheer factor slide. Why? Put simply, there was a lot of prettiness here, from baby-blue silk habotai numbers with almost ineffable lacy white embroideries to slightly more wholesome floral print styles overlaid with more of that exquisite lace. A white silk blouse worn with a stretchy black net skirt embroidered with shiny round silver studs roused the audience to spontaneous applause, a rare sound at this, or any, fashion week.
Best of all were the stretch tulle blouses worn with salopettes that formed a V over the breasts. That’s one way to deal with the see-through issue; they also showcased Scognamiglio’s skills as a tailor. The designer himself was most excited about the white tulle gown that Karmen Pedaru modeled at the end of the show. Appliquéd with lace and embroidered with crystals, it was a taste, he intimated, of a forthcoming couture collection.