A new British team has taken over at Pollini, the design label that grew out of an old, established Italian shoe brand. Jonathan Saunders, the Scottish proponent of graphic modernist print, is designing the clothes, and Nicholas Kirkwooda rising talent with a hot line of his ownthe shoes. In a brisk presentation of 27 looks (quick-march, and staged three times so audiences could flow in and out within 15 minutes), the duo framed a breezy snapshot of what's to come. "I started three months ago, so this is just the beginning," said Saunders. "But I just thought it should be light and feminine, with a positivity about it."
Saunders worked with dots and stripes, branching into pastel swirls in dresses cut with multilayered skating skirts or standout origami folds (like some of the shapes in his own collection, but softer). Kirkwood followed through with color-blocked suede and patent heels in lime, cobalt, black, and white, followed by high loafers with chunky tassels and inserts of polka dots. The best in the lineup, though, was the crisp monochrome tailoring for day: a jacket with Bermuda-length city shorts and a neat trench in black and white spots, and a gray menswear long-line jacket with collars and cuffs in piqué shirting material. It remains to be seen which tack the Saunders-Kirkwood team will take when they've had a chance to settle in, but if they're smart enough to keep up the quick and effective staging of this first show, they'll be doing time-deprived press and buyers a welcome favor.