Over the past few days I've been reviewing the Spring/Summer 09 collections, and here's the ones that really got me thinking.
The lavish prints and tartans of last seasons collection have gone completely out the window with the Spring/Summer 09 collection from Preen. However, despite my initial thoughts when I heard about this "toning down", the catwalk pieces were just as exciting as ever. Patters printed on the fabrics have been exchanged for intricately manipulated patters in the material, with slashing and layering of different opaquity (is that a word!?) of fabrics. The mesh cut-out dresses were by far my favourite (especially in the burnt orange, which is THE colour for 09, don't you know!?). The whole concept of the collection seemed to revolve around moulding and adapting classic looks. No bright, garish patterns, no giant corsages or bows - all the decoration is created from the basics (zips twisted around the skirts and dress backs for decoration, fabrics manipulated into sculptured shapes, or cut away at into patterns.) Gets full marks for design and skill from me!
After Christopher Kane's fifth show, at London Fashion week, most of us were left in awe of his Spring/Summer 08 collection. He's abandoned the OTT glitter and sequins he was famed for after last seasons collection - but most definitely not for something more subdued. Giant sequins have been replaces with giant swirls of sculptural chiffon and leather. Of coarse in true Kane style, the hemlines are short and the colours a striking - not for the modest woman. Animal themes run through the collection with Gorilla graphic tops and leopard print cashmere's, and there is something about this which strikes me as very "street style" - are we seeing another example of what I like to call the "bubble-up-effect"? Fashionista.com shows Jessica, a 24 year old fashion journalist in London wearing a style similar to one of Kane's looks (far left) - high waisted skirts with graphic t-shirts. And this isn't the only place we've seen this look before - urban outfitters have been teaming vintage print tee's with high waisted skirts and braces for months now. However I must emphasise, I'm not criticising Christopher Kane, or implying he's a style stealer in the slightest - I'm actually a great fan of any designer who takes inspiration from the everyday girl. It's wonderful to see they look at some of the great young fashion minds, the real trend setters and the "it girls" with out the labels to see what it is we actually want from fashion. And Kane's King Kong inspired t-shirts are exactly that, what we want from fashion - young, quirky and memorable.