Welcome to a grimy vault adjacent to the London Dungeon, the setting for Basso & Brooke's Fall collection. While the Jack the Ripper surroundings certainly damped down the eye-searing color of their flamboyant summer collection, all the hallmarks of Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke's deliberately schlocky aesthetics were still on full display. For starters, they trotted out a Valkyrie in a top hat, cutaway redingote, and electro-fluoro patterned leggings.
This Brazilian and British pair loves an eighties silhouette: leggings, nipped jackets, silk dresses, and big, poufy-sleeve tops. That hasn't changed, nor has their affection waned for covering every available surface in print. For fall, they dubbed their print story "New Discoveries." Close up, it proved to be an intricate merging of eighteenth-century etchings and surreal science and engineering illustrations, notable (for people with their reputation) for its lack of pornographic content, as well as for its darker palette of greens, browns, and purples.
"New Discoveries," though, had a hidden double meaning. The designers are increasingly aware of how the fashion machine works, thanks to their Italian backer Aeffe. And they're thinking seriously about proving they can do commercial, regular-looking jackets and blouses. Three seasons in, Aeffe is convinced and has signed them to another contract. So far, so good, but the ability to condense their message is still something they need to practice.