Sass & Bide
September 15, 2011 London
Clarke and Middleton's love of marrying various elements together was still quite present, only less piled on. The seed of the collection was opposing forces, and in a single look you might find some amalgam of tiny burnished silver sequins, a navy and white batik polka dot, bright silk, a bit of neoprene or metallic leather, and a dash of tribal beading. It sounds like a lot—too much even—but the execution had an almost minimal precision. It seemed as if their magpie urban lass had taken to heart the old Coco Chanel chestnut about taking off one thing (or a few) before you leave the house, but in a macro way. Combing her hair into a sleek, middle-parted chignon didn't hurt the elegance factor, either.
Speaking of opposing forces, instead of styling the show themselves as they've done in the past, Clarke and Middleton hired Julia Sarr-Jamois, the Wonderland fashion director beloved by the street-style set for her high-end mix mastery and outsize halo of hair. A stylist's input is a wholly unquantifiable behind-the-scenes element, but from this end, it seemed a smart match.
The pair closed the show with a brief debut of their higher-end Gallery collection, perhaps another reason they were feeling for something grown-up. One interesting dress twisted white neoprene into a couture-inspired cocktail dress, just the thing for the fun girl who gets thrown in the pool at the end of the night.