Aside from the pinned-up hairdos, there was little to clue you in to Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton's inspirational starting point of Virginia Woolf. "She was such a strong woman in her time," Bregazzi said after the show. "But like Orlando, we wanted to time-travel a bit and modernize it." That meant whizzing everything through a computer. To wit: the slick, pixelated print they used liberally throughout had a previous life as a proper romantic floral before its digital makeover.
On the face of it, this was their most girly collection to date, what with all those traditional feminine hallmarks like white lace, ruffles, and colors like lemon yellow and birthday-cake pink. Still, this pair never serves anything straight-up. Their signature cuts maintain a subversive elegance, even with prim fagoted ruffles edging a waistline and cuffs, or on Bloomsbury-era Peter Pan collars. But compared to seasons past, where they've explored deconstructing dresses and skirts and cleverly collaging them back together, these silhouettes were relatively streamlined. That idea hasn't entirely run its course, but it's quieter now—and even more sophisticated.
As the show progressed, things darkened. Preen is a fashion-loving professional woman's go-to, and pink can read wrong in a board meeting. In crept the black, and a great pen-and-ink floral, a beautiful and more subtle motif than some we've seen this week. Backstage, the models made a point to gush compliments before scooting off, and retailers lined up to do the same. Another strong show from the duo begs the question: Why don't you see Preen everywhere?
Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
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