Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Understated glam

Ben de Lisi’s show offered some of hits and misses.

Baby-doll dress with lace overlay, and rosettes at the hem, by Ben de Lisi.

ANYONE expecting sequins, beads and crystals to fill a bank vault, trimmings galore, embroidery and lace enough to cover a quilt would have been seriously disappointed with Ben de Lisi’s show.

They probably would have had withdrawal symptoms similar to a smoker going cold turkey.

To make the contrast even sharper, the show at the Stylo KL Fashion Festival preceding de Lisi’s was Malaysian designer Khoon Hooi’s spring 2008 collection.

Now, Khoon Hooi is known for his penchant for keeping things simple and elegant with no over-the-top detailing. He stayed true to form. It must be said the collection looked much better on the runway compared to earlier press images.

And on to the eagerly anticipated debut by de Lisi in Kuala Lumpur, let it be said from the start that it did not depart from his usual understated glamour. He has a formula and the man sticks to it. As de Lisi himself has said, one should always play on one’s strengths.

Black tiered dress with lace top. – Pics by KAMARUL ARIFFIN / The Star

The collection showcased clothes that generally flattered the body. Most of the clothes outlined the silhouette at all the right places, emphasising the form in a fluid way.

Some were more figure hugging like the metallic gowns (which were stunning) and the embroidered wool body suit. The embroidery print was also used in tops, gowns and dresses but the standout was a scoop neck top paired with a skirt with buckle details.

As for his trademark gowns, many featured his tried-and-tested one-shoulder diagonal straps. In fact his finale piece – a purple gown with floral details – looked as if he wanted us to remember his red-carpet Oscar moment with Kate Winslet in an identical chilli red number. Memories!

There were also some moments when it looked like the wrong end of high street was on the catwalk. A couple of tiered dresses with lace seemed out of the written script.

The crowd favourite (and deservedly so) was a baby-doll dress with lace overlay that had rosettes at the hem. Drool-worthy!

Fluid draped gown with diagonal oneshoulder strap.

The shoes for the collection by Lewré for Ben de Lisi were stunning to say the least.

In the end it was a smörgåsbord of Ben de Lisi for those who have had no previous exposure to his work. Was it a satisfying “meal” though? The response would probably be mixed.

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