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The Hot Line in Paris

By Karl Treacy
Fashion Wire Daily - In a charming apartment in Paris' historical 17th-century Place des Vosges, FWD had the genteel pleasure of being invited for a cozy tea to see the new capsule collection by designers Ann Wiberg and Roberto Henrichsen.

Presented in a vaguely decadent, fleur-de-lis-wallpapered salon, a gathering of friends and admirers sipped wine and chatted while trying on pieces from the collection, entitled Ready-2-Wear Couture.

Produced under the name Alion, it's an attempt to bring a sense of preciousness and individuality to dressing, which "lets the wearer be as creative as the designer."

Neither of the designers, both of Scandinavian origin, are amateurs at their game. Roberto, who studied at Paris' Studio Bercot, was menswear designer at Missoni for seven seasons, and part of an art collective called United Aliens. With contributors such as models Jodie Kidd and the iconic Verushka, the collective has produced work for magazines such as Dazed & Confused and Citizen K, and exhibited in 2000 in Basel's Art/Unlimited expo.

Wiberg, meanwhile, is one of Denmark's most successful designers and winner of last year's "Golden Button" award. Going it alone for the last ten years, she now has three eponymous stores in Denmark and one on London's Ledbury Road, with plans to open more in Sweden.

Their joint collection, retailing for ready to wear prices, which Wiberg jokingly dubs "trash couture," is made of soft easy fabrics such as silk tulle and ultrasuede with an element of stretch to allow easy movement and maintenance.

The current offering is based around the concept of a simple tee-shirt style bodice decorated with subtle beading and embroidery, with asymmetrical wisps of gathered and feathered fabric, which almost transform tops into dresses.

With names such as "Pink Flamingo," the adaptable pieces are fun and personal. All pretty much one-of-a-kind, Roberto informed FWD. "We're never going to do repetitions, ever. It's all about the spirit."

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Copyright ©2001 Universal Press Syndicate