Friday, November 21, 2008

So while my list of designers going out of business grows ever longer, it's nice to hear of a comeback or resurrection now and then. Once mammoth retailer Steve & Barry's is finally liquidating (no surprise there), Bill Blass is closing house, (not there either), but veterans Jean de Castelbajac and Romeo Gigli are seeing a revival.

De Castelbajac may not be a name that most would recognize, though Katy Perry brought him some hot press when she wore a dress by the designer bearing the sequined visage of our new president elect at the MTV Awards. Having fallen victim to the financial crises months ago, Swedish firm Atlas Design Group has given de Castelbajac a second lifeline, so we'll be seeing more pop-art inspired designs from the Frenchman for at least another season.

Now on to the more interesting news of Gigli's new line: Io Ipse Idem. Since having lost the rights to his name following a dispute with his former backers, Gigli is teaming up with new investors and a former exec of Pucci and will show next season in Paris.

In his heyday, Gigli was often regarded as the soft and romantic counterpoint to Armani's hard shouldered power suits, which ultimately seemed to have won out. It'll be interesting to see if Gigli's woman has been able to change with the times, a progression I often wonder whether Armani's client has been able to make.

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