Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Dita factor and Kirrily's urban sport moment

Hurtling in a cab en route to the first show of Fashion Week day two - Kirrily Johnston, down once again at Bondi Icebergs. It's another beautiful day for a fashion meet. Many of us won't be quite as fresh-faced this morning as the last however due to the Dita Von Teese performance last night.

It was well past 11pm when the show finally wrapped and for those of us who then had to produce material to go to air, that wasn't the end of it. I was liaising with my producer until the wee hours this morning, checking that DVT's management had given their 'OK' to the footage for our video packages today.

Von Teese's management obliged all media outlets recording the performance to provide not just the performance footage for approval, but in fact the edited, ie ready-to-air stories - stitching everybody up with a signed contract before they could get through the door.

And look I thoroughly appreciate that DVT has an image to protect, and that some might well be keen to take the images of her writhing on a giant bucking bronco of a lipstick out of context, but I did have to laugh when I spotted what appeared to be dozens of mobile phones whipped out by punters the minute DVT hit the stage to record their own take-home versions of proceedings for posterity. Or YouTube, take your pick (on which currently appears a somewhat raunchier version of last night's show). If you can't stop Saddam Hussein's execution leaking onto the internet, what hope has poor Dita Von Teese of protecting her dignity for heaven's sake?

Now in another cab hurtling back to the OPT for the next shows. Once again Icebergs provided a glorious backdrop to Johnston's jolts of spring/summer colour.

In the case of this season's very sportif collection, the jolts were flashes of canary and saffron yellow and notably, a vibrant Pine Lime Splice green. I liked this collection, particularly the saffron yellow knit and grey marle micro singlet dresses with 'tough chic' exposed zipper and grommet embellishments, as well as Johnston's odes to the floor-length patio dress style, a nice contrast to all the uber minis we saw yesterday.

I liked the lime dress series best of all - all looking like they could have been made out of parka nylon, but which in fact were fashioned from various treatments of silk, from featherlight silk cotton to a glossy, viscose twill-look version. They were bright, breezy and effortlessly chic. But I couldn't help noting what I thought were some far too literal references to Alber Elbaz's just-shown AW0708 collection for Lanvin, the leitmotiv of which collection was a series of massive 'power' sleeves on loose shift shapes. Unlike some others working in the Australian market, Johnston has her own quite distinct aesthetic and, staying 'on trend' aside, I think she should follow her instincts a little more closely next time.

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