Ula Zukowska - fall/winter 2004

If there’s anything bone-chilling (and we mean the good kind of shivers) about how Ula Zukowska approaches the task of a new collection, it must be the utter freshness of every detail.But perhaps I am wrong and it lies in the tactile richesse of every outfit, not to say that the two can’t go together.

The collection kicks off with a dandy set of black zip-up skirts whose utilitarian squareness is offset by tops with gentler silhouettes. Ula presents a gender flip-flop that features loose masculine draping with girlie style, one that earned accolades for Chloé this season. Some of the jackets mushroom into spongiform shapes while a speckled tweed hoodie shows a more demure side to what can only be categorized as light outerwear for city princesses. Some of the skirts get more experimental and the tops get cropped even tighter to exaggerate the difference.

Ula does manage to step away from the lightweight techno fabrics and delve into the luxuries of wool, though the design is no less elaborate. It’s great to see fur accents soften the austerity a little bit, and as usual, the layering hit it on the nose. If it were any other label, I would have been sick of the colour charcoal, but Ula manages to present it in a different light with every set.

Another Rubicon deftly negotiated: the understated boucle-knit sweater is counter-balanced by a tantalizing mini-skirt. There is a bevy of breathtaking sweaters (I know, it sounds like an oxymoron to me, too) that despite their chunkiness manage to keep in line with the melted silhouettes. Gold and orange organza round out the whirlwind collection, making me wish that there had been more colour from the beginning, though perhaps it would’ve been too much to handle.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer