Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
September 11, 2010 New York
A so-called ethnic reference can trip up the best of them, but Thornton and Bregazzi managed it by keeping the palette serene and most looks monochrome. These were the same fresh, dreamy pales we're starting to see lots of this week, as many designers present their spin on Calvin-ist minimalism. But there was certainly plenty going on here. First, there was the visual sleight of hand of trouser waistbands resting on bonded silk dresses and skirts, and a sort of apron idea worked throughout. You had to check out the models both coming and going, so as not to miss a cutaway back or the swish of pleats escaping a structured skirt. Into that puzzle, they wove texture: caviar beading, smocking in a diamond pattern, and gauze embroidered with Islamic tile motifs. As the duo ratcheted up the tile print into a more traditional and visible form with Lurex threads, the trompe l'oeil deconstructed elements lent this tried-and-true bohemian look a smart modernity.
It was a lot to digest, for sure, but rendered in the idiom of clean sixties-ish frocks and fluid mannish suits, the message made perfect sense.