Little Lord Fauntleroy, a children’s novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1886, had surprising impact on boy’s fashion at the time. Burnett’s description of the little lord’s attire, “a black velvet suit, with a lace collar,” was made literal by the introduction of the Fauntleroy suit. Dandies and denizens of the Buffalo movement later seized upon the suit as a stylistic calling card: the threads of the dapper rebel. Since the Victorian era was resurrected by the fashionable elite in recent seasons, it has seen plenty of versions, but Osman’s spin for Fall/Winter 2016 was one of the more witty tributes. Designer Osman Yousefzada reimagined the Fauntleroy suit, one of the most popular male staples of Victorianism, with exaggerated features and cropped lengths, thereby transforming it into a unique proposition for womenswear.
But suiting is only a slice of Yousefzada’s focus for the season – he also turned to vivid poppy prints and beautiful macramed fabrics to feminize his looks. After the eccentric suits with their cartoonish ruffles and cropped britches came a series of vibrant floral-printed dresses and separates. One version featured a fanned-out crumb-catcher bustline, while another wrapped ruffles diagonally across the bodice of a cupcake tiered gown.
It seems as though Yousefzada delighted in keeping the audience guessing, because just when you grasped the mood or theme of a look, he would change it up.
In a sudden change of direction, Yousefzada began to deploy lozenge-shaped cut-outs atop covetable leather skirts and one body-conscious dress in electric purple. After the aristocratic air of the show’s first half, these more tailored looks were rather startling, but not unwelcomed. The designer continued to toy with expectations by releasing a diagonally cut ruffled top and double-wide pair of trousers, as well as an enormous puffy coat paired with an opulent fur collar. It seems as though Yousefzada delighted in keeping the audience guessing, because just when you grasped the mood or theme of a look, he would change it up. It was fun and deliberately unpredictable, but the only thing that should have been edited was the crocheted doilies that sat atop several of the looks. They were on-theme in theory, but they were too erstwhile to fit in with the rest of his modernized Victorian drama.