The Piece: This silk Bernhard Willhelm cocktail dress, out of the Spring 2001 collection, showcases a classic scarf print in a leopard, leaf, and rope motif, knot-front detailing for maximum draping, and a raw hem. Available now for $500.
The Runway: Never one to go for the obvious or literal, Bernhard Willhelm made a strong and unique statement when they sent their red lipstick-wearing, sock-and-kitten heel-pump-sporting models down the Spring 2001 runway. These were innocent little homemakers, out of the late 1930s and early 1940s, with a wildly eccentric twist (and possibly a dark side), with sex appeal that was intellectual, offbeat, and anything but typical.
The References: Think Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, all sleek evening slink and hearty femininity ever-so tainted with an air of hedonism. Think the quintessential patterns of Hermès' famed silk scarves. Think the glorious tackiness of Roberto Cavalli's unapologetic animal prints and dramatic silhouettes. Think the heat of Art Deco-inspired retro Miami, Florida. This is old-school, retro glamour with a distinctly modern twist.
Above: Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock in 1983's Scarface, a selection of Hermès scarves; below: various Roberto Cavalli campaigns, shots of vintage Miami