Standing side by side along a wall of windows, in the large expanse of a 12th floor loft along the Hudson, were Gregory Parkinson’s girls donning his breathtaking dresses for Spring. It was almost cinematic – the turning of a corner after exiting the elevator, being greeted by a variegated flourish of fruity and metallic laces. It was proper cause for grand terms like “Love at first sight”.
Parkinson is renown for his ingenious fabric manipulations. Here, he fashioned two, three, five layers of variating lurex laces, embroidered and satin face organza, heavy metallic lace and ikat voile to make stunning overlays of color on dresses that are technically masterful, without any of the fuss or weight of fabric encumbrance. The effect was a floral palimpsest of color – citron and lavender, lilac and lemon, cerulean and bubblegum, citron and ivory, stringent purple and navy. From a column dress with corded lace panels and waist detail to a fitted lace dress with sherbet applique over a floral skirt and a raspberry corset top – it was a veritable attack on dowdiness. Zest. That’s what it all boiled down to. Parkinson has been designing memorable, fun frocks for years, but these latest naifs and sprites of the cocktail party have to be the zenith of Parkinson’s joie de vivre ouvre.