If anybody is going to pull off a collection inspired by French decadence and Maasai warriors, it's Thakoon Panichgul, whose take on Marie Antoinette's Versaille included generous bustles, plenty of prints and, implausibly, a few ruffled puffer jackets.
Set in the Plaza Hotel's Grand Ballroom, Thakoon had prepped his audience for something lavish and opulent--which, in part, is what we got. The first group, executed in a red-and-blue check culled from a traditional Maasai pattern, played with his theme of decadence through full silk taffeta skirts topped with frilly, ladylike cropped jackets and, most memorably, puffer-material "overcoats."
The effect was intriguing, but one could feel the entire ballroom relax when a series of form-fitting draped cocktail dresses -- fodder for any fashion editor's closet -- in arty batiks snaked their way down the runway (which was comprised of three long avenues, occasionally leading to awkward model traffic jams at the exit). Thakoon's signature funky separates, this time inspired by East African textiles, are sure to be big sellers come fall, in particular a pair of grey and red striped trousers and a printed overcoat in a drunken paisley print. As always, though, its those perfectly-draped printed dresses, invariably described as "exactly what a woman wants to wear," that will sing on a rack.