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GOOD GRACES: "These are dresses for girls who drink and smoke and have sex," said Erik Torstensson, who together with Jens Grede showed a capsule collection of 14 black dresses under their new Grace label at London's Café Royal on Saturday night.
The opening look — a short, strappy number — was worn by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, one of Torstensson and Grede's glamorous muses. Another, Natalie Massenet, Torstensson's girlfriend, jested from the audience that, "Erik sewed them all himself," as the show started.
The dresses ranged from all manner of fuss-free LBDs — Suki Waterhouse in a strapless mini with an A-line skirt among them — to a full-length strapless gown.
Founders of creative and digital agency Wednesday, Torstensson and Grede launched Frame, a denim label, in 2012 and described Grace is the nighttime offering for their existing audience. "We are privileged to be surrounded by beautiful, sexy, edgy women. We are known as creatures of the night — or we were before age, a wife and a baby — so we wanted to do something sexy," said Grede. "This a collection for the Frame girl after dark."
So are they designers now? "What designer sits around all day and draws dresses? We are humbled by the talent in this industry and, to paraphrase Mr. Tom Ford, it's what we say yes and no to that defines us," explained Grede.
The collection is aimed at the contemporary market, with prices ranging from $400 to $600, and they have plans to expand the offering to include clutch bags.
"We are impatient to grow; I want to do resort!" said Grede. "And clutch bags. I sat next to a woman in head-to-toe Valentino at a dinner and her clutch was amazing; four years old and from Ted Baker. A great clutch can transform an outfit."
All this insight from two men who openly admit that their aesthetic, as "two of the few straight men in fashion" designing for women, leans toward the sexy end of the scale. "But then I'm just gay enough," joked Torstensson.