Mackage - fall/winter 2003

Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy have really outdone themselves this time. The new collection sizzles, and it appears that while the fire has been raging out of control in the Mackage studio, a little old-fashioned discipline is standing by to keep things in check.

This is a wonderfully textured womenswear collection, with corduroy wools in white and the creamiest of creams and silky leather in sinister black variations all duking it out for bragging rights. The A-line button-down trench coats and their vertical supremacy have leather belts and other horizontal details to give them terrestrial pragmatism. These specimens bear hints of Piccadilly Circle mod while the collarless military-style jackets up the snappy factor to contemporary levels. They even manage to throw in some forest-floor paisley wool skirts in, casting rustic overtones on their streamlined urban outlook. These intractable skirts, combined with the more rigid tops can result in some edgy styling for the more adventurous Mackage addicts.

Mackage holds the sparing use of fur and leather trim in its back pocket, using it in the most effective scenarios. My favourites: the symmetrical shoulder details used on the trench coat silhouettes as a framing device, a strand of continuity that carried over from last season. The rounded lapels that unfurl like a floral garland around the neck shows that Mackage has an innate sensitivity when it comes to visual cues in fashion design.

Just when you think Mackage has gone the route of tasteful elegance, the collection pulls its most powerful trump card; rising hemlines threaten to send things soaring into the stratosphere. This is scary. When designers in their 20’s learn how to balance their wildest impulses with absolute coherence, they put themselves years ahead of the competition.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer