For the uninitiated, 1205 is a young label ruled by an old head. Paula Gerbase trained on Savile Row, so she knows her tailoring. She favors the masculine, is a fabric freak (like Akris, she attaches swatches to her press notes), and could just about be called a minimalist. The clothes are eruditely excellent but sometimes the effort Gerbase puts into them is lost in translation.
This season Gerbase said she had been thinking hard about ornamentation, and the possibilities of making it integral to her designs rather than the icing atop them. So large loops of raw steel cut through ribbed Venetian knit to gently gather and draw it in, or sliced through the sides of narrow cotton corduroy jackets in place of buttons. Some extremely well-made navy knit culottes saw plain yarn drift into white-gilled accordion pleats, worn so that the trousers were only just visible beneath the more protective ribbed dress above. Starched cotton shirts featured three quilted loops below the wrist. A structureless gray flannel jacket and a superlight polyester M65 in navy worn above drawstring hemmed pants looked unremarkably generic to the eye, although Gerbase countered: “I spend a lot of time trying to hide the work so that the experience is there for the wearer.” She failed to do that in a closing series of ecclesiastically touched navy wool and white cotton ensembles perfect for any liberal yet severe artist looking for a trustee-meeting uniform.
A climactic quartet of gray alpaca jumpsuits and dresses, sometimes bobbled and bouclé, sometimes smooth and brushed, were ornamentally sculptural in themselves, but looked as comfortable to wear as a hotel robe. The only impulsive element in this powerfully thought-out collection—held in the conservatory of the Brutalist masterpiece the Barbican center—were the rubber shoes, which Gerbase bought for 12 pounds a pair from a gardening store in the countryside.
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