Designer Focus

Jennifer Bawden, a native Canadian, is a graduate of Western University in Ontario, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. After working one year as assistant designer for Frank Usher Ltd., in London, she returned to New York where, four seasons ago, she premiered her formal collection of dressy day and evening wear. Bergdorf Goodman was the first to recognize her talents, showcasing her designs in their Fifth Avenue windows. Others soon followed, including I. Magnin, Martha International, and Fred Haymen of Beverly Hills. Her dresses are currently gracing the November issue of Cosmopolitan and the December’s New Woman. Also available to do custom designed gowns for stores, she will create couture one-of-a-kind pieces. “They can pick their own exclusive fabrics and designs at a wholesale cost of $1000-$2000,” explains Jennifer.

Her Spring collection exudes romance and glamour. Delectable ice cream tones, some with metallic accents, are translated into silhouette skimming or form emphasizing dresses and ensembles. The latter, while decorative, are also deliberately functional, and ingeniously designed to flatter and disguise imperfect body contours. The palette encompasses baby pink, light yellow, light peach, beige and off white. Fabrics include 4-ply silk crepe, silk chiffon, white cotton jacquard, gold lame and novelties. One group which travels easily from day to evening features a shapely sophisticated dress in silk crepe, draped gracefully with silk chiffon across the neckline at front, and cascading down the sides after crossing over in the back. Another dress which Jennifer describes as a “perfect second wedding dress,” is sleeveless and detailed with softly draped chiffon on the lower portion, which is attached and punctuated with self rosebuds. Chiffon sweeps out in flutes on the high Princess-line of a dress, which offers the option of soft pastel or multi-pastel flutes. A short sleeved bolero jacket in silk crepe tops a dress with high pleated bodice and swirling chiffon skirt. A black silk crepe tuxedo dress is adorned with ornate crystal buttons down the front. What Jennifer calls her “showstoppers” are in the glamorous evening group. Standouts include an evening suit in gold/pink novelty brocade incorporating an oversized jacket (lined in thick pink satin) with romantic gathered drop shoulders. Its details incorporate semi-circular concave pockets and a triple-step collar. Coordinating is a high-waisted mini skirt, which pleats from a turndown peaked waist panel. In a novelty fabrication, multi-pastels on a silver base enhance a sexy little dress with an ultra-dipping sweetheart boned bustier. Another dress with a similar silhouette but modified dip, attaches pleated chiffon at one of its spaghetti straps which doubles as a gossamer stole. In a gold/silver/pastel jacquard novelty print (a soft romantic version of the Pucci style) an elegant bustier dress projects a 50’s feel with its long split overskirt.