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PARIS Spring 2004

By Sedef Kokcuoglu
Photographs by Roger Mesquita

The unforgettable tune "Foxy Lady" by Jimi Hendrix heralded the opening of the curtain at Frankie B.'s show on the second floor of the Standard, revealing a team of seven "pussy cat dolls" clad in satin ultra mini, skintight button down dresses topped off with white, fuzzy faux-mink jackets. Obviously drawing her inspiration from the 60's "Valley of the Dolls" craze characterized by black liquid eyeliner, Electric Barbarella hairdos and impossibly tall platforms, Frankie B.'s designer Daniela Clarke created a bold, street-savvy collection. To me, the appeal of Frankie B.'s collection can be attributed to the designer's ability to combine the extravagant with the mundane in a tasteful amalgamation. For instance, the vibrant, daring turquoise sheer mesh blouse with rhinestone trim matched with a pair of vintage flare rigid jeans

created a daring clash of color and style which simply dazzled me. Likewise, Clarke's black cutout knit ruffle body suit (completely see through), combined with a pair of elegantly tailored, slim black pinstripe wool cocktail trousers was successful as a full-on feminine look with retractable sex appeal. I am a firm believer in neutralizing the extravagant with the simple. (A femme going for smoky smudged kohl eyes should lay off the red Chanel lipstick.) The same principle goes for clothes. Clarke seems to understand this need for balance. Hence her bombshell collection is resolved and sexy without looking tasteless.

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