Roksanda: from the pitch to the palace

Russian opulence went to the locker room for Roksanda Ilincic’s autumn-winter 2012 show.

The designer melded fabrics and finishes that called for a private chauffeur with sporty references to create a collection that knew the score.

First, the (relatively) casual: a pitch-perfect dress in claret crepe had sweatshirt-style sleeves in hammered silk. Another dress, this one petrol blue, was cazh-ed down with tracksuit seaming at the neckline. That was shown under a navy tweed parka dressed up with copper threads (a later iteration had next season’s omnipresent puffa sleeves). White Oxford shirts monogrammed with simple ‘RI’s offered crisp counterpoints to flowing silk trousers and swingy, lower-calf-length skirts.


Looks went long and lean for evening. The gowns came out two-tone, as with a navy and aquamarine stunner, and featured Ilincic’s signature drapery magic and hitch-ups. A purple cocktail dress had an origami-like fold in the back that looked like a minimalist bow. We could instantly envision the designer slinging it on over one of her trusty black polo-necks for celebratory cocktails at the Delaunay.


And oh yes: the fur. Whether cropped close down the fronts of jackets and dresses, bristling from shoulders or hems, or slung fox-like around the neckline of the finale’s snowy bridal gown, it was almost shockingly pervasive.

Once again, the colour combinations were like visual caffeine. Wines richened the purples, teals lifted the navies, and a pen-and-inkish cross-hatched print drew it together. It’s these artful little dresses in vivid violets and turquoises that keep women from palace-dwellers to pavement-pounders wanting more, season to season.

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