NEW YORK, N.Y. - Thakoon Panichgul's spring collection is, in his own words, a meditation on luxury. But not obvious luxury.
"Something not in your face," the designer said after his runway show Sunday. "Like jewelry peeking from under a shirt. Luxury doesn't have to be so overt."
Panichgul is one of the designers favoured by Michelle Obama, but it's not likely we'll see the first lady anytime soon in his fire engine-red patent leather strapless bra paired with a mint-hued patent leather skirt. Among the more eye-popping designs were also a dress and skirt, both in black jacquard, that had slits so high, they proudly displayed lacy black underwear underneath.
But there were much less racy designs too, including a denim trench with a crystal chain, a detail also found on a black jacquard coat and an oversized shirt. Panichgul also accessorized many of his designs with leather wallets, slung around the models' shoulders on straps made of freshwater pearls.
Those strands, Panichgul said, like crystals embedded in the slits of a dress or jewels in the band of a belt, epitomize his view of a subtle luxury.
"What does luxury mean? It's about the personalizing of something that speaks to you," he said. ""What makes a woman beautiful? Maybe an element of lingerie. Or the red patent leather. Or a man's shirt."
One of the most unique elements of the show, attended by actresses and Thakoon fans Christina Ricci and Rashida Jones, was the footwear, by Laurence Dacade for Thakoon: Boots, some of them thigh-high, made from a lacy stretch fabric that lent them the appearance of white lace tights, hugging the model's leg.