February 22, 2009 London
"Building a brand" can sound like a dull and onerous mission these days, especially for a junior-focused designer who came out of London's free and easy years. Yet that's exactly what Bartley is proving herself capable of now. There's value for money in each of her outfits, from all the patchworking of contrasting fabrics that goes on in a single piece (a dress might be made up of a polka-dot top fused to a draped bustier, connected to a wool skirt) down to the Confederate caps and fur pompoms on the toes of her pumps. The sense of continuity shows an impressive business focus, but even better, somehow, is the way Bartley will also break into a bit of gold lamé to keep things "up."