by Alexander Fury .


A F Vandevorst wanted to talk about one thing: sex. In every permuation and persuasion, it siffused their collection, with acres of slit silk charmeuse, chantilly lace insertation, tights stitched with seams up the back and outlining shadows of suspender-belts and garter, and heels so high the models had to be helped off the runway. Maybe it was the idea of wartime rendezvous on the battlefield that got Vandevorst going this season: worked into all that blatent sex-appeal there was a distinct feel of the forties, specifically Utility workers and front-line nurses. Perhaps evocative of Vandevorst's 'Red Cross' logo, looks emerged trailing hospital-gown ties down the front and back, rendered in oh-so-NHS shades of scrub-green, institutional orange and freshly bleached white. But these were no clinical, cynical wares. There were touches of bubbling Belle de Jour sexual repression in peter-pan collared blouses, slit open down the front and re-fastened with trailing cotton ribbons, and in the profusion of deshabille lace for underwear and outerwear. The big, shagged-out hair, exaggerated red lips and (frankly sensational) soundtrack of kitsch Franglais pop had more than a hint of Emmanuelle - although equally, those lips were ever-evocative of Crawford, panstick and Arden's Love That Red. If it all sounds a bit 'Carry on Doctor', it wasn't. Sexy nurses, strict secretaries, coquettes and nymphettes all managed to make appearances as inspiration with a knowing wink as opposed to a sly leer.