Dinah reached back the furthest in time, the Forties, for her collection, the womanly and curvaceous Vamp; and she's proud of it-or her. Using the retro burlesque performer, Dita Von Teese, as her role model, she opened the show with a sultry jazz quartet and a slinky Jessica Rabbit lookalike stripper. The burlesque dancer slinks, strips, and cartwheels her way up and down the runway, peeling off her red silk corset and black lace skirt before skipping away in a matching set of red silk and black lace bra and panties, much to the men's delight which consisted of most of the front row.
The burlesque/performance art show sets the atmosphere of smoking, sultry Forties' Film Noir. If Joy Han markets to young girls and the young at heart then Dinah Bar-El was strutting the dark and mysterious but mature woman; and she's not afraid of being a woman. From the heavy, matte, almost ghostly makeup with film noir deep purple, matte lips to the very structured hairdos with the Veronica Lake's flip bangs and Rita Heyworth's cascading waves. The seductive gun moll with the dangling cigarette and the curling smoke personifies Dinah's ideal of womanhood, not girlhood. This is extended even more in the prevailing color of gun-metal gray in satin with pleating to soften and feminize it. Dinah Bar-El's collections explores the extremes in Forties' Womanhood, from the sexy vamp to the tough, no-nonsense woman.
This pretty much reinforces the theme, an army of gun-toting Femme Fatales channeling either a vibrant Rita Heyworth for evening, strutting around in satin evening gowns with laced corset bodices, accessorized with feather boas with her long, black satin evening gloves; and a young Lauren Bacall for daywear. Daywear consisted of a broad-shoulder suit in pink speckled tweed or an innocent black and white gingham corseted sundress in cotton. Eveningwear was slinky silk satin dresses with flutter or cap sleeves with airy chiffon trimming, aligning on top of the flutter sleeves. The evening satin gowns arrive in burlesque cherry red, ladylike cream, and the perquisite black. The gowns were even more 'vamped up' by covering the skirts in black lace overlay. This is an early form of 'Tough Sexy.' Dinah balances the overt sexiness of burlesque with the more restrain glamour of Katherine Hepburn at night with a cowl neck top in silver metallic or a gown dripping in orange sequins and a dusting of crystal beads for the modestly inclined who want to shine.
Dinah even paid homage to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca in a black trench coat. The historical references remind one of every movie Lauren Bacall did in the Forties when she was that era's starlet, borrowing from her earliest movies, 'To Have and Have Not' and 'The Big Sleep.'
The show may had started with playful and seductive but ends with a serious and assertive attitude. It sends the vibe of 'Tough Sophistication' when women were strong, dangerous, sexy, and assertive. Dinah's dominant woman attitude will further and elaborate at the Collection Bebe Show.