In a London season bristling with performative phenomena embodying generational values—to admiringly mangle Anders Christian Madsen—this Eftychia collection felt ironically like a tantalizing outlier. For not since Paula Gerbase’s sadly-evaporated 1205 London has shown a startup female-designed womenswear brand rooted in a deep knowledge and appreciation of tailoring.
Eftychia Karamolegkou has understandably been working through a professional existential crisis of sorts, given that her brand’s original focus was work/business attire and the bottom fell out of that market during the pandemic. She sprinkled in softer pieces during the last few seasons, and here again there were silk satin slip dresses and skirts aplenty in a dedicatedly brown-based palette with occasional gulps of pale yellow and cream, sometimes played against panels of velvet. These tended to be strafed by sutures executed with rouleau loops and mother of pearl buttons to create a what-lies-beneath dialogue of surface with space.
In her notes Karamolegkou said the collection, named Unfathomable Lights, was inspired by the depths of the ocean: it would have been interesting to also see some colors drawn from the surface—something a little punchier—applied to these sophisticated softer pieces. As for the tailoring, backstage the designer indicated the resolution of her meaning-of-tailoring crisis was to consider this collection as “casual evening wear.”
That tailoring, which riffed inventively on the hoary old menswear tuxedo, was clever. The shtick was to take traditional elements of evening wear—such as the satin faux-regimental side stripe and the satin lapel—and then put them through a mixer: the side stripes were moved to the front of the leg, creating a flatteringly elongated effect , while the flashy satin lapel was broken up and slimmed down in panels resting alongside wool. There was what looked like an adapted shortened Chesterfield that took that style’s velvet collar and extended the velvet to act as pocket flaps. The silhouette was flattering and mature: low suited jackets above pleated tapered pants. A curving vector that ran from armpit to hip via collar and skirt on double-breasted jackets was particularly elegant, and mirrored the curve of those buttoned sutures. There were also some handsome high-waisted Nehru collar jackets, vaguely regimental again. All of this was worn against vintage boots and menswear shoes that are part of Karamolegkou’s personal collection. Sophisticated, thoughtful, and excellently executed, this was a refreshing recalibration of tailoring’s traditional—and tangled—role as the uniform of empowerment.