We were two for two in end-of-world inspirations for tonight's shows. (See
PPQ.) For Christopher Brooke and Bruno Basso, last days require
going for broke with their already, shall we say, optically demanding
prints. How then to maximize maximalism? Basso, the print side of this
operation, took a page from Matisse. Well, actually several pages and a
pair of scissors. The overall look of them was a frenzied collage of
relatively simple geometric motifs cut and pasted into one flat surface.
The effect was quite cool, a sharper way to continue the fusions they did
It was at its best in sharper shapes, like the stiff rubber-back jersey T-shirts or a nipped-waist dress or a simple pencil skirt. (Though at times those shapes trespassed into the Eclectic Ladyland of Marni, particularly with the styling tic of socks scrunched in sculptural wooden wedges.) Brooke, however, attempted to transfer the concept of contrast to silhouettes, like the nearly David Byrne-oversize jackets, meant to offset narrow trousers. It's unclear what the matronly evening gowns with the long sleeves and heavy skirts were designed to counter, but they contributed to the jumbled side of the equation.
Surprisingly, Basso and Brooke have never made a big knitwear statement, but an emphasis on another contrast—that of textures—led them to it now. It's hard to see why they waited so long. In cool slouchy shapes, they looked great. Ditto their new collaboration with the Cambridge Satchel Company of printed clutches—ripe and ready for their Tommy Ton close-up.