P.O.W. - spring/summer 2004

Andy Thê-Anh dedicates Spring 2004 to ‘Digital Goddesses’, the modern-day divas that continue a long tradition of spellbinding us, but with a futuristic spin.

“Now the ideal woman can be made perfect with the computer,” explains Thê-Anh. “The place that cinematic goddesses used to have is now taken by digital creations like Lara Croft. In this collection I needed to look through contemporary eyes.”

Hot pink sizzles on snow-white backgrounds while pinstripes pretend to be serious. The colours are coded to either harmonize or clash with equal audacity, and neutral colours are used as a sounding board. Quicksilver bleeps in from time to time to create a pixel illusion. Thê-Anh clues us in on the collection’s dazzle.

“For a long time international fashion went either neutral or black, and this season designers are waking up to colour again. Young people are also leading fashion today, and because of that there is less importance on structure and more room to mix it up, particularly with colour.”

POW’s pop may look elementary at first. But a closer inspection of one of the electric blue pleated explosions reveals the incorporation of a chiffon layer that diffuses and softens the effect.

The designer’s innovative drive is felt throughout the collection. Jewelled crossovers share the spotlight, cutting across bare backs and midriffs, creating whole units out of disparate elements. Symmetrical seams weave through each other with almost digital precision, while filial embroidery does its things in case anyone forgot that Thê-Anh is one of the nation’s classiest couturiers.

A nifty tapered mini-suit in pinstripe brown pokes through the rainbow parade for the business casual market that POW has cultivated over the past few seasons. The streamlining of not only these, but of every piece in the collection means that mixing and matching looks has never been easier.

Thê-Anh explains his newfound fetish for transparent plastic.

“Plastic was used in the 1960’s by Courrèges and Cardin, but I wanted to bring it back with a futuristic look inspired by the digital age. You have to give people something new, a good reason to buy your clothes.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer