Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi evolved the elegantly deconstructed masculine-tailoring-spliced-with-femininity story they started to tell last season. This time, the flou element was inspired by a trip to Egypt, and the play of light and shadow through the decorative fretwork of Arab architecture.
A so-called ethnic reference can trip up the best of them, but Thornton
and Bregazzi managed it by keeping the palette serene and most looks
monochrome. These were the same fresh, dreamy pales we're starting to see lots of this week, as many designers present their spin on Calvin-ist
minimalism. But there was certainly plenty going on here. First, there was
the visual sleight of hand of trouser waistbands resting on bonded silk
dresses and skirts, and a sort of apron idea worked throughout. You had to
check out the models both coming and going, so as not to miss a cutaway back or the swish of pleats escaping a structured skirt. Into that puzzle, they wove texture: caviar beading, smocking in a diamond pattern, and gauze embroidered with Islamic tile motifs. As the duo ratcheted up the tile print into a more traditional and visible form with Lurex threads, the trompe l'oeil deconstructed elements lent this tried-and-true bohemian look a smart modernity.
It was a lot to digest, for sure, but rendered in the idiom of clean
sixties-ish frocks and fluid mannish suits, the message made perfect sense.