There is something very pride inducing when you have watched a designer grow. Sometimes you just have a gut feeling that a “newbie” has potential and you just have to go back every season to see if you are correct. Such is the case here as the first time I went to see these clothes they were “what she could wear she carried” and all bells and whistles ... flash and over the top disguised the shortcomings.
As the saying goes ...”you’ve come a long way!” Designers, if they learn their lessons and listen to the right people can steer their futures. It is obvious to me that Ms. Leonovich is in the driver’s seat. This season, she is showing remarkable maturity in comparison to her earlier outings... and I mean that it in every positive way. What I so respect here is that the collection was thought out. There wasn’t any “oh let’s do this and let’s do that.” There were groups by fabrication which is refreshing and since the clothes and the fabrics dictate evening, the clothes were surely cohesive in that respect. What also must be pointed out here is that the accessories have grown up along with the clothes ... a very major factor!
Ms. Leonovich has sharpened her tailoring chops and shown them off quite to her advantage. What might have been great would have been to show those skills off even further by using a more basic fabrication thus giving focus to those abilities. I am not sure that that there is a definitive DNA to her body of work but it is starting to show and once that happens, the collection will be great. If there is one criticism I can offer, it is that the “infrastructure” pieces were not really necessary to achieve the overall shapes. Yes, I understand in an ode to Gaultier, Galliano and McQueen the inner cages were really unnecessary as well as not refined enough to be utilized. Construction can become an issue/defecit and proper expertise comes in very handy when you step into rarefied territory like that.
Since the full vocabulary of the collection is not fully developed, it is hard to cast stones but my wish is that there were some softer fabrications, as she had used for Spring. She showed a “great hand” with them and they really would have been a welcomed addition here to act as a foil to the all the “harder” fabrics that were shown.
In this business, to be able to say that a collection is growing and maturing is a very welcomed sentiment. I do believe that within the next year Ms. Leonovich will show an astounding collecting that will show off every one of her assets via a truly spectacular collection. I wish to be sitting front row again and being forced to my feet by what I have just seen.