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THE ENVELOPE : CAMERA READY

Vividly Ilincic

Rooney Mara, Carey Mulligan, Amber Heard, Keira Knightley and others embrace the Day-Glo colors and peek-a-boo cutouts.

December 22, 2011|Booth Moore

In blindingly bright, tennis ball yellow, Astro Turf green and Bubble Yum pink, British designer Roksanda Ilincic's eye-catching cocktail dresses and column gowns aren't for the faint of fashion. They're for women who would rather steal the spotlight on the red carpet than step lightly in one of those ubiquitous push it up-and-out mini-dresses.

The Serbian-born, London-based Ilincic attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London before launching her line in 2002. And in the last year, her high-impact creations have attracted risk takers in Hollywood and beyond. (Michelle Obama, Samantha Cameron and the Duchess of Cambridge have worn her designs.)

Ilincic is a supreme colorist with a knack for adding just the right amount of quirkiness to classically draped, couture-inspired shapes, whether it's by playing with proportion, asymmetry, contrasting colors or cutouts, as demonstrated on the dangerous-but-demure black jumpsuit worn by Rooney Mara last week at the Stockholm premiere of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

For San Diego's Comic-Con in July, actress Carey Mulligan chose an Ilincic dress with navy, cream and mustard silk draped to reveal a flash of bare midriff. Also at that convention, Ginnifer Goodwin's fluorescent yellow silk gazar dress with a contrasting black tulle and feather belt landed like a lightning bolt, befitting an event that celebrates all things pop culture and comic-book related.

Ilincic's biggest red carpet coup may have been dressing Dianna Agron in blue at the Emmys in September. The electric hue gave the classic Hollywood gown a modern edge. Amber Heard turned heads by wearing the designer's two-toned gown in the surprisingly chic combination of sage and mint green to the Hollywood Film Awards on Oct. 24. And that same night, Keira Knightley attended the London premiere of "A Dangerous Method" in an Ilincic creation that was a study in light and dark, with a crisscross bodice and solid back.

Stunningly graphic, that dress proved that sometimes in fashion -- as in film -- there's nothing so dramatic as simple black and white.

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