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Rue de Mail A/W11

Martine Sitbon didn’t know quite which decade to settle upon but it was her intricate surface detailing that was the real draw

How did kooky, sleek, sexy and prim all get mixed up into one pot luck draw and still came out looking cohesive?  Through Martine Sitbon’s expert way with textile manipulation of course. We’ve been dancing around these past few weeks over different decades – a touch of the late 50s, the swing of 60s mods and couture trapeze shapes and the glamour of last season’s 70s trip – all still jostling around somewhere in the collections. Sitbon may have visited all three decades in her own way in minor passages in the collection but the real trip wasn’t in time travel but in the surface detailing that she executed with finesse. First up was a bubbled knitwear that was a quirky take on vaguely Mod-style dresses. Then 70s jackets and trousers get sheeny shiny raw edged silk paneling that erases any notion of retro. Sheer organza pencil skirts and tops with vertical lines running down like corsetry detailing also mingles with rosettes arranged like an op-art pattern. This leads to black and white pleating placed meticulously on sheer chiffon in a flesh revealing series of outfits and then we finally end with art nouveau-ish cut-outs resembling stained glass with matching prints, finishing off this cacophony of surface detailing that shows off Sitbon’s well-tuned skillsets.  This skittish way of jumping around textures and surface work needs to be seen up-close to really appreciate the amount of work pummeled into the pieces.

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