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Gaspard Yurkievich’s Lost Romance

PARIS, February 28, 2005 - I suppose we should cut Gaspard Yurkievich some slack. The venue where he had intended to show his fall collection was closed because of damage from an exploding bomb, and so an 11th hour move sent him to an old theatre by the Palais Royal.  Clunky seating overwhelmed ushers, who directed guests up and down, and all around, through doors, under alcoves, and into sardine can-sized booths, in search of an elusive perch.

When the show finally began, an hour late, a set of tungsten lights descended from the stage ceiling, giving the atmosphere of a rock concert.

Where the collection excelled was in simply elegant lamé dresses fluttering with an asymmetrical hemline. Where it went astray was mostly everywhere else, including the finale of A-line evening dresses flowing in nigh unto formless chiffon, and set off with bands of fluff around the bodice. Lots of other ideas didn't really work either, notably the pleating that looked awkward when placed around the breasts, or the plumed piping overwhelming a sleeveless jacket.

The title of the show, "I Think Romance Is On the Rise", got lost in all the mishaps, and so perhaps it can be chalked up to an off season from an otherwise solid designer.


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