2014 February 17
London Fall 2014: Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Mary Katrantzou, Matthew Williamson
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(NEW YORK) Preen By Thornton Bregazzi
Preen’s Fall offering was an interesting mash up of retro-futuristic elements. Foremost, it appears that fashion has taken a bewildering affinity to a particular science fiction classic, with the likes of Star Wars characters appearing first at Rodarte in New York and now at Preen in London. Here, it was more of an abstract addition to the geometric prints and throwback design details. Darth Vader’s headshot printed on the front of an oxford blouse paired with trousers cinched with a side-release buckle belt made us nostalgic for our middle school backpacks that were essentially repurposed for this look. Elsewhere, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi’s kaleidoscopic prints, juicy tangerine hues, and metallic lamé parkas with plush fur hoods evoked novel delight. The essential Preen silhouette: elongated, voluminous, oversized proportions—was undoubtedly present. The fitted ribbed-knit skirts over full, midi-length dresses were a creative touch and sure to be the newest street style inspiration. Whether gimmicky or otherwise, Preen’s sci-fi selection is one fantasy ship we’ll get on board.
This season, Mary Katrantzou replaced her famous prints with patchwork, and the result was every bit as magical. Patchwork in the vein of scout badges, pedestrian signs, sporting symbols, and coat of arms-esque crests came on dresses done in medieval style silhouettes like long-sleeved, drop-waist floor-length gowns. Asymmetric cocktail looks were cut to look like armored aprons in shiny snakeskin, and chain metal dresses hung from suspender-like straps and were adorned with various silver and gold metal triangles, hearts, and rectangles accented with pearls. It was the kind of collection that reminded us that there are some designers that can still think outside of the box without all together abandoning a sense of femininity.
In Matthew Williamson’s court, there’s no need for basic toppers, with the Brit designer preferring to exhibit a showing of over-the-top coats. Take the silk ikat print version, featuring a nipped-in waist and bursts of B&W stars. Or, perhaps the bright red and deep blue furry take on outerwear is more your speed. The same goes for the rest of the collection, with Williamson offering up fur festooned mini-dresses, a firework motif, and plenty of crystal appliques. He was most successful with his showy evening wear, from a golden chain mail tunic to a feather-encrusted maxi-dress. Also to note: the booties were killer, including a yellow and black striped pair and some sparkly silver stunners.
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