The king of the red carpet in the late 90s (first designing for Halston and later under his own name) Randolph Duke hit the headlines after sending Minnie Driver down the Oscar red carpet in 1998 in a crimson dress with matching fur stole that had her topping the best dressed lists. He later dressed Oscar winner Hilary Swank in 2000. Remember her big bronze-green meringue? That was Duke. Then controversy (a sexual harassment case) and later tragedy (a battle with cancer) hit, and his work disappeared from the catwalks. After a seven year absence he's back at LA's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with a collection that's suitably glam, but also includes a surprising amount of daywear.


To be honest, though his gowns are as glamorous and red carpet worthy as you'd imagine, the daywear is a bit too 80s Dynasty for my liking. The black tie-waist pencil dress is beautiful, but fan pleats with gold trim, white slit trousers and sheeny shorts suits are the uniform of a Jackie Collins heroine and not a fashionista. Though the kept women who'll buy from a designer like Duke will no doubt lap them up.


Meanwhile, look out for his formalwear on the red carpet in the months to come. Duke has enough of a pedigree - and enough celeb friends - to ensure plenty of exposure now he's back on the runway.

Our US-based sister site, Shiny Style, will be covering LA Fashion Week in much more detail. Check there for all the news and gossip!