American oil firm sends company brass to Scotland to buy up a little village for the site of a refinery. That's the plot of Bill Forsyth's 1983 flick Local Hero,
and the less-than-likely scenario imagined by Lou Dalton
's Fall collection. But Dalton's long-term boyfriend works for British Petroleum, and she's spent time herself in Scotland, sourcing wool. So, actually, the whole had a salutary, memoir effect. "It felt very personal," Dalton said after the show, "because of my relationship with my man and my time in Shetland." The personal connection may have contributed to the strength of this solid collection, though it may also have kept it to a less larky note than some in the past.
The meeting of city and country was expressed in tailoring-meets-workwear, and natural-materials-meet-man-made: smart two-button woolen jackets with pockets and panels in nylon, fuzzy knits coated to oily effect. Take the theme to its logical conclusion, and naturally, a pair of petroleum cargos and a slicker were on hand to suggest spills. But unusual as the inspiration may have been, the collection kept its footing on terra firma, even in a fashion city where "weird" is often translated as "wonderful." Maybe that's why the most trad-leaning tartans packed the most punch.