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Kevork Kiledjian: defining the little black dress

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Written by Daniel P Dykes

The fact that there in the front row sat Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, daughter of former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, left me in no doubt that Kevork Kiledjian's New York fashion week showing would have visual impact. Those in the front row, when carefully invited, often give a hint of precisely what's in store, and Julia sat there in a hot little shoulderless number that mixed mesh with leather. And so Kevork Kiledjian gave us just the impact I expected, from his front row to his catwalk, from his music to his cuts.

Kiledjian's take on the coming fall 2011 season is a collection of dresses, leathers, lace and sheers, and flares. All of them, even those that failed to work in the face of better pieces from the same collection, are heavily sexed up. Simplistic, perhaps even crass, to say but that's precisely what this collection is about. Some pieces have micro short hems. Others are offered with trains that lashed behind the model as she pounded the catwalk. And between both cuts are some that are more demure in having floor length hems. But no matter the length of cut, it was clear that this is a collection all about defining precisely what a dress can be. In doing so it made it clear that this was a collection for women who simply have that it quality in abundance. The Restoin-Roitfelds of the world. The fashionisers with a rock-chic edge.

kevork Kiledjian autumn 2011

Rock-chic for autumn / winter 2011 tends towards one thing: motorcycle fashion. Kiledjian's collection offers it, but seldom at more than the detail level. While the collection includes the odd motorcycle jacket, other pieces aren't as overt. Take the collection's superbly cut leather pants. Motorcycle worthy? Generally. But these are cut with a flare, leaning them more towards the season's 1970s revival than towards the motorcycle trend they're compatible with. And the same can be said for most other pieces, such as the motorcycle jacket constructed of shearling that, thus, strikes you as more aviator than biker..

Sticking true to the rock chic effect there are plenty of other sexed up, youthful elements to be found. Sheer fabrics are in abundance, while the laces used give the same impression without actually revealing more than most women would choose to.

And there in lies a very good point about this collection: it's not for the wall flower. It takes confidence to take to the streets in purple leather pants. Equally so to go to a party in dresses so trim and tight (though, alas, for some people I've seen that seems to be less about confidence and more about not understanding their body shape). Across all pieces of the collection it takes confidence and the right figure to wear them.

This is a collection that perfects a rock-chic, black palette. More so, Kevork Kiledjian's collection is one that perfects black mini dresses. For no matter what hit the catawalk, from the sheer shirts to the perforated leather leggings, it was only the black mini dresses that had every woman in attendance unanimously attempting to will them into their wardrobe.

To see all of Kevork Kiledjian's autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection, click on the thumbnails below and browse through the photos.

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