Sometimes you can go home again. Sebastian Pons was born in Majorca, graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, spent some time working with Alexander McQueen, and then moved to New York to join Miguel Adrover’s design team. Yet it was only after Pons returned to his native island that he debuted his first collection here, following an intensive period of research about the early history of fashion. If your idea of early means vintage, think again; his collection, called Itaca, was a sartorial excursion through the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Southeast Asia, with some contemporary Spanish spice sprinkled throughout.
Opening in ancient mode, Pons showed a one-shouldered toga in a natural tint, followed closely by another in Roman purple. He used linen, a fabric with an appropriately venerable past, for a series of marvelous dresses: one with simple decorative stitching, like a converted table cloth; another embroidered in blue; yet another painted by hand with a pomegranate motif. Some of the most chic pieces in the collection were the suitsa kind of campesino take on Chanel, with drop-waisted skirts and embroidered cardigan jackets that laced up the front and at the wrist. The concept was repeated to more bohemian effect with rustic Ikat prints and added fringes.
As the show progressed the clothes became more decorative, moving through knits in Arabian-inspired patterns and hues to end in a souk-like riot of color: pink and green chiffons stitched with semi-precious stones; a chemise entirely embroidered in colored threads and pieces of mirror; and simple dresses with floral prints and pretty ribbon trims. Overall, Pons achieved an impressive balance between the classic and the decorative, launching his fashion caravan on what looks set to be a thrilling journey.