Between the sultry beat of Vaccarello and the hipsteria of Jacquemus, there was a bookish sleight of hand at the Sorbonne, for Aganovich and their “Magician” collection. Drawn as Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor are to antiques of all kinds – illustrations, garments and miscellany collectables – and given their proclivities for the cerebral and abstruse, could there have been a more perfect starting point than an early 20th century magician’s tuxedo?
These designers have long been masters of cerebral collections. But tonight, it was suspension of disbelief rather than analysis on the runway. “We always come back to asymmetries and rounded shapes; tailoring was our way of tightening it up,” commented Nana Aganovich after the show. So the pair pushed themselves out of their comfort zone by pulling their shapes closer to the body. The resulting collection was striking.
Although focus was on the female form, what was unlikely to happen with the pair, were vast flashes of flesh. But these newly “tightened” proportions highlighted masterful tailoring, and occasional hints of leg or a visible nape – oh, the thrill of a dipped line at the back of a collar! And that was the magic at Aganovich. Such radical asymmetric shouldn’t work, but it does. One could forget (wearing) almost anything beyond these coat-dresses. But anyone reading diffidence would be missing the sweeping expanse of fabric appearing on the back, or some sloping seams defining a curve. There was boldness even in the raw edge of brocade, fraying.
It was at once unmistakably Aganovich, with the magic of discovering a novel spin in familiar mores. Linking such a distinguishing effort to underlying global trends would be a cheap parlor trick, but confirming that Aganovich are back on the up-and-up is no illusion.