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Luca Luca: Lamentably Lightweight

Godfrey Deeny
September 11th, 2009 @ 8:35 PM - New York

Kind of hard to know where to begin with this latest collection from Luca Luca, a troubled brand that built its reputation on a certain sort of color red carpet glamour, which, we’re afraid, looks rather tired and passe today.

Riddled with ruffles, force fed with predictable cuts and staged with little real enthusiasm this spring 2100 collection shown Friday afternoon in New York was, all told, a poor advertisement for American fashion.

Begun back in 1991 by Milanese transplant designer Luca Orlandi, Luca Luca used to represent a certain idea of bright-hued frothy femininity. No any more. Orlandi’s chosen successor Raul Melgoza initially took the brand into neutral hues and a more fitted silhouette. This afternoon, however, Melgoza fiddled around unconvincingly with garish prints on jersey dresses that were too tame for a movie opening and too fussy for a professional event.

No wonder the audience that featured socialite Tinsely Mortimer and former It Girl Nicky Hilton gave the collection a decidedly tepid applause.

An uninspiring opening look of a formulaic summer dress in a squiggly print turned out to be a marked omen for a catwalk show that never really got off the ground. Where great collections can soar, this one stumbled around.

There were a few wearable items – like a tiered white silk dress that had a certain cocktail hour pizzazz and a well-cut sleeveless coatdress. But one left this show thinking that lightweight and limp are also both words that begin with L, just like Luca Luca.

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