TER ET BANTINE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR MILAN FASHION WEEK
For his debut collection at Ter et Bantine, Kostas Murkudis took the life of Sarla Thakral, India’s first female aviator, as a loose starting point—so loose that her name was spelled incorrectly on the press notes. More broadly, this was a paean to feminine professionalism, Murkudis said. So after a Gypsy Moth-appropriate double-belted black leather flying coat and some complementary black leather separates, the designer tilted his wings toward pinstripe via first a suit then a tunic top and dress whose on-the-hip strap detailing sparked an appealing flight path of drape and fold.
The collection was neither literally Indian nor aviatorish in its enunciation, but you could see echoes of the former in the sari-touched pillars of pleating that were the facade on one-shouldered silk dresses and loose jacquard skirts. Later a series of grafted gowns—their elements diagonal swathes of latex, feathered lace, and silk—worked well. The closing brace of nylon-coated silk dresses had a clumsy stiffness to their movement, but they reflected the light in a liquid ripple that was hard not to watch. A squadron of oversize, military-touched looks were the allusions to the air, and while that section appeared unwieldy, backstage some models raved about how airy they felt to wear. This was a collection that negotiated patches of turbulence—look 26 in particular came perilously close to a crash landing—but offered moments of pleasure too.
As you would expect, although Murkudis is a first-timer at T&B, his credentials are long haul. He began as Helmut Lang’s first design assistant 29 years ago, and has stints consulting for Balenciaga and Pringle under his belt, in addition to his own line. It was just a pity that the show producers insisted on strafing this outing with strobes from start to finish. It meant some attendees—including the poor editor next to me who had risked missing her flight on to Paris to be here—were forced to keep their eyes closed for the duration.