The doors were closed. The paper was lifted. And the music reverberated as the house lights turned down momentarily only to come back up in a wash of color. One by one, beautiful bombshells in sexy evening gowns came sauntering down the runway for Vlassis Holevas's U.S. premiere at the Atelier in Bryant Park. The Greek designer presented his innovative kaleidoscope of color for Spring 2006 with more than 50 stunning ensembles. Forget any notions of fading into the background; with slits 'up to there', these dresses certainly weren't made for the wallflower. You will command everyone's attention in one of these resplendent creations. With a stream of delectable decollete dresses, no one has ever made the collarbone look as good as Mr. Holevas did on the evening of September 15, 2005.
"He didn't mean to catch my eye. Well he's lucky; he just walked on by, 'cos he hasn't met a girl like me. Are you kiddin'?' As a remixed version of Shandi's 'He's A Dream' came blaring from the sound system (Hold On: I'm having a Flashdance-flashback moment), a parade of amazon beauties strutted past me. The air was electric with funky remixes of The Bodyrockers' 'I Like the Way' and the Athens chart topper 'Travel Girl' by Hitch Hike. Mr. Holevas has said that his goal is to 'make women look and feel sexy and elegant.' He accomplished this task tenfold! The collection had a 'take me' opulent, effervescent, party vibe. Mr. Holevas painted the picture of a sophisticated, jet setting, confident women, who's got the world in the palm of her hands and men falling at her feet.
The heavily 80's influenced collection was a veritable smorgasbord of edible colors, ranging from pistachio, cantaloupe, watermelon, pomegranate, tangerine, lemon, and lime, along with formalwear staples black and white. Ms. Holevas made beautiful use of elegant materials with layers of silk chiffon, taffeta, Chantilly lace, and tulle. The collection was detailed with Swarovski crystals, sequins, hand embroidery, cut-outs, pleats, and even a removable manteau. The cuts and draping were sensual and very womanly. Design elements included strapless necklines, v-cut detailing, thigh-high slits, and asymmetrical hemlines. These dresses looked as amazing leaving the room as they did entering it. If the dress was the season's key item, then the back and shoulders were the erogenous zones of choice, with design elements accentuating the curves and concaves of a woman's body. There was a strong emphasis on the back this season and no one exemplified this better for evening than Mr. Holevas.
Some of his most stunning ensembles included a black dress with the an exquisite lace elliptical back cut-out; a black and white block print strapless gown with hand painted roses and silk organza flowers straps; a turquoise (reminded me of the Blue Martini Tom Cruise poured for Gina Gershon in the movie 'Cocktail') silk chiffon and lace gown with a bodice en couer and a high slit along the left leg; a (lemon) yellow hand-painted empire waist dress in silk with swirls of red busting up from the hem like flames; a (grapefruit) pink strapless gown with a smattering of sequined flowers; and a silk halter in hues of a rainbow sherbet paired with a pistachio chiffon harem pant.
The hair and make-up chosen were the perfect complement to the American debut of Mr. Holevas's provocative evening wear. The hair was loosely gathered into a low ponytail along the nape of the neck. The tail was secured just behind the right ear and draped over the right shoulder. The MAC team of makeup artists here continued an emphasis of the smoldering eye we've seen this season with a glossy berry-stained pout. The models had a very healthy sun-kissed glow. The shoes, which were sky-high and strappy, amplified the bass on the sexy wattage meter.
Sitting on the front row across from Sex & City stylist and designer Patricia Field wearing her own exquisite pair of vintage snakeskin peep toe ankle strap platforms, I thought more about the Vlassis Holevas woman. Let me say it again, W-O-M-A-N, there is nothing meek or coy about the starlet that dons one of these pure candy confections. Until now, Mr. Holevas has catered almost exclusively to an elite clientele of socialites and celebrities in Greece. But these fabulous designs will now be available stateside. Mr. Holevas's premiere at Bryant Park coincides with the U.S. debut of his eponymous line at Neiman Marcus. The collection is glamorous, beautiful, and very sexy. The customer lucky enough to acquire one of these gowns, will be noticed, enamored, and envied. I think INXS's 'Mystify' would have been a perfect addition to the soundtrack, 'Some silken moment goes on forever and we're leaving broken hearts behind.' One of these Va-Va Voom gowns will have you looking like a movie star and hypnotizing your own bewitching spell. You know when you've heard stories about the dress that will make a man fall in love with you-well, this is it. Men will go gaga when they see you in a Vlassis Holevas gown; they'll be rendered speechless, mystified, and hopelessly vexed!