Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
February 17, 2013 London
Then there was the show's alternate personality, derived from Richard Avedon's shots of fifties couture model Dorian Leigh. In several looks Thornton and Bregazzi literally jammed full skirts together with pencil-shaped ones in wool crepe, creating dresses that looked wholly different front to back. It was an interesting idea but not altogether effective; perhaps it was simply executed with a surfeit of good taste. At any rate, the Leigh/Avedon influence asserted itself plenty in the polished finish here: Most of the standout looks interpreted the Jubilee theme in more or less straightforward ways, but they had a soigné quality you had to credit elsewhere. To wit, the red and black blouse with an asymmetric collar, worn atop a long black skirt that split to open a vein of blood red silk, or the silk maxi dresses in grainy black and white prints. The colorful crystal embellishment that appeared toward the close of the show seemed a bit out of nowhere after the rigorous elaboration that preceded it, but these pieces also managed to capture the collection's overarching tone of sophisticated and rather chilly New Wave nihilism. Indeed, the irony was that this exploration of duality was almost too coherent.