Room at the Top

The Spring '99 Collections

But perhaps the most auspicious debut of early fashion week was that of Todd Thomas, whose versions of '50s dresses in authentic-looking prints, accompanied by tiny denim jackets and stiletto heels, were remarkably accomplished. If his shirtwaists sometimes looked a little too June Cleaver­ish, dependent as they were on a welter of suffocating undergarments (which is why women trashed them in the first place, 40 years ago), at least Thomas wasn't afraid to share a singular personal vision, refreshingly free of shredded gauze. Lots of people in the audience were cheering wildly by the end, but one fashion insider took a look at the models lined up for their final bows in an array of I Love Lucy dresses and cut through the kudos with this cautionary comment: "Will someone please tell him, 'It didn't work for Isaac, and it won't work for him.' "

Prints valiant: Mixmaster Custo Barcelona
Sandra-Lee Phipps
Prints valiant: Mixmaster Custo Barcelona

Basket case: Anait Bian's straw vote
(photo: Sandra-Lee Phipps)
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