Elisa Palomino: Gotham’s Galliano

Fashion’s current yen for moody 90s androgyny isn’t lost on Spanish designer Elisa Palomino. It’s just that, well, the Dior Couture alum and, until recently, NYFW virgin, doesn’t give a damn. “What a relief to see all the soufflés of organza and feathers amongst all these boring minimalist jackets without buttons,” she recalled one prominent journo telling her last February.

Palomino’s fall 2010 debut—in which nary a low-waisted trouser or boyfriend blazer was glimpsed—took its cues from a headier decade. Inspired by the 1920s equivalent of teenybopper magazines and the long, lean figures of Japanese illustrator Kasho Takahata, the collection channels equal parts Daisy Buchanan-in-Tokyo and Palomino’s former boss, John Galliano (whose studio she once headed up, following a stint at Moschino Cheap & Chic).

“We live in a dark enough era,” she says. “Our clothes should lighten up our existence, not the contrary.” Think pink mink boleros, tulle-trimmed suede flappers and ostrich feather-fringed cocktail dresses. Puffer vests feature kimono embroidery, while cherry blossom branches crawl over off-the-shoulder chunky knits. One mini-dress comprised almost entirely of oversized sequins is distinctly more Gaga than Erté.