September 17, 2010 London
Fittingly, the muse for Olowu's Spring collection is a woman who tries to see things clearly and differently. "She doesn't buy clothes; she selects them," explained Olowu. His dream shopper would no doubt be intrigued by the witty spectacles print Olowu used throughout this collection, and she'd also be drawn to such considered details as the hand-sewn elastic waist on a silk shirtdress, the designer's sure hand with the bias cut, or the zigzag patchworking of prints.
Olowu's Spring remix also incorporated the saturated colors of tribes in Papua New Guinea and the ever present influence of the designer's Nigerian and Jamaican heritage. Early fans of Olowu will be happy to see his vintage couture prints on voluminous-sleeved thirties gowns (hello, Harlow!) and a shirtdress that he topped with a raglan knit and called his new uniform. (He also showed how you could put a thin cardie over the airy silk of one of those glam gowns, pop on a flat sandal, and go about your day.)
The designer flipped easily back and forth between retro silhouettes—a circle-skirted black suit was another—and a more pop, modern sensibility, as seen in a dress that paired his spectacles print with a Broadway Boogie Woogie-esque motif. Then again, Olowu also has a knack for bringing all his references into line—take the strong-shouldered and nipped-waist forties-style jacket intricately pieced together with lace from the historic mill Sophie Hallette and about ten different vintage prints. It was punky, elegant, throwback, and millennial all at once.