Danielle Scutt returned to the London runways last season with a collection of soigné, sexy, womanly clothes. This season she did a 180, treating her collection as a platform for the exploration of male youth subculture. The funny thing is, it wasn't hard to find the through-line between the two shows. Scutt's integrity as a designer is based on her commitment to her own present preoccupations; she can go from being consumed by the challenge of looking glamorous to listening to Tupac and reflecting on the influence of hip-hop and skinhead aesthetics on her own sense of style. Her collections have a stream-of-consciousness quality about them: Though disciplined in terms of craft, they are weirdly unedited.
So this season it was Thug Life and suspenders and tartan that were on the designer's mind. She veered between being very literal with her references and being refreshingly unbeholden to them. On the one hand, there was a T-shirt that actually said "Thug Life," and a few fantastic, fresh-looking pairs of dark, low-slung jeans. On the other, Scutt took her rude-boy cues and made cropped, crisp white blouses with sculpted sleeves and tartan ruffles, and she closed the show with a fitted, ruffled dress that appeared to be made out of old RIP Tupac tees.
Elsewhere, Scutt roamed further afield, sending out several excellent looks in glitter-polished voile that she draped into dresses and skirts, and a few more challenging pieces that incorporated densely pleated silver lamé. Generally speaking, she was pretty thorough as she explored this collection's key ideas, but here and there one got the sense that she might have done more. To wit, there were the other denim initiatives, such as acid-washing and borderline-tacky ruffled denim, that could have been better extrapolated. You got the sense that Scutt was just at the beginning of her thought process with those pieces when this collection came due; maybe she'll continue to work out those ideas in her next one. Providing, of course, that she hasn't moved on to other preoccupations by then.