Mother of Pearl
February 12, 2012 London
This Mother of Pearl did with verve, turning Tomaselli's ornithological murder spree Birds into pretty silk prints and cashmere intarsia knits and extracting rich, kaleidoscopic patterns from his Millennium Phosphene Bloom. Tomaselli's Hang Over and Night Music for Raptors got some play here as well, and more generally, the glittering surfaces of his wood panels inspired the collection's well-judged crystal embroidery. A cashmere sweater that was intarsia-knit to look strung with gems, for instance, took on extra punch courtesy of the addition of crystals and pearl beads, while bronze dresses and gauzy blouson tops were topped, chicly, with a crystal choker.
The artist focus at Mother of Pearl has a way of distracting from the fact that this brand is increasingly well designed. There's a savvy strategy at work: Season to season, the actual look of the clothes stays reasonably consistent, with sporty pieces and simple yet refined tailoring providing a canvas for endless reinvention. It's worth noting, though, that while a pair of slim track pants looked terrific in a print from Tomaselli's Phosphene, they were pretty sharp in plain plum-colored silk, too. Ditto the unadorned leather jackets and wide-leg trousers. To exit the realm of art, for a moment, and employ a music metaphor, the Mother of Pearl signatures operate as a kind of rhythm section, and a very good one, that sets the beat and the bass line for the melodies you remember.