There's no rigorous way to test this, but it's entirely possible that Duro Olowu is the world's most charming man. It's not even necessary to spend time in his company to get the sense of his charm (although if you ever get the opportunity to hang out with Olowu, you should). His clothes exude the force and warmth of his personality. Seriously: There is no earthly reason why a trim jacket made with contrasting pieces of toile de Jouy should work, and especially not when it's got balloonlike pleated sleeves, and especially especially not when it's paired with a ruffled dévoré chiffon gown in a print that looks like the groaning innards of a volcano, but…Olowu makes the look convincing. Enticing, even. Taking in one of his ensembles is a bit like having the best conversation ever with a stranger you suspect may be mad. You just have to go with it.
There were, of course, a number of looks in this collection that boasted an appeal that was easy to comprehend. An ensemble comprising a ruffled blouse and wide-leg pants in matching white silk noile was simply chic. After the recent explosion of digital print, Olowu's batiks reminded you of the tactile appeal of analog prints. Fine, graphic knits and slouchy big skirts just looked cool. And the bias-cut dresses, an Olowu signature, had an easy, graceful fit. Olowu himself defined something of the magic of his clothes today when he said that he avoids, at all costs, girliness, and designs instead for "a woman who stands her ground." It may well be that the heart of Olowu's charm, both personally and as a designer, is that he believes women are as interesting as he is.