Although one has to tolerate a special kind of torture by concept to see a Preen show, it can be worth it. Vast banks of retina-scalding white neon lights provided the agony this time, meaning that those without dark glasses spent most of the show barely able to open their eyes. Those who did manage to peel their lids back for a few seconds clocked the fact that Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton are also playing the reference-the-late-eighties game.
It's a very London thing. Where Christopher Kane and Marios Schwab have alluded to Versace, Alaïa, and, as of this week, Romeo Gigli, Preen are the first to make a bid to bring back Claude Montana. However consciously, something about their large, round-shouldered bubble-gum-pink blousons; cowl-hooded knits; and zip-bisected body dresses made an uncanny parallel to the commercial collections Montana used to design in Italy, right down to the top-tights-ankle-boot color coordination. In fairness, Preen can't be castigated for direct copying. They clearly put a vast amount of work into the horizontal pleating effects they used throughout the show, and into the huge number of fawn, purple, and black variations on their theme. As a matter of fact, they could save themselves a lot of trouble if they only did half the work. It would certainly have made for a more concise collection this seasonand spared the audience a migraine.