The hard tailoring and cropped jackets in the collection were pure Prince.
An eighties redux, it seems, is on everyone's minds - look no further than fashion's very own zeitgeist barometer Marc Jacobs and his ode to the pre-1987 extravagance of booming NYC for proof. Nathan Jenden offered his own variation on this retro-institution, against a soundtrack of Prince and the aforementioned's girl group, Vanity Six. The hard tailoring and cropped jackets in the collection were pure Prince, the folded and flapped tailoring hugging hips and haunches spoke of Vanity 6's overt sexuality (Prince, after all, said they were named after the number of breasts in the band). That said, they were equal parts Roland Mouret, except that Jenden all too often got tied up in his own tailoring tricks, rendering a simple, slim houndstooth trousersuit a strapped and lashed mish-mash of fabric bands. When Jenden left well enough alone, the results were sleek and flattering: witness the firm black dresses and brief, block-shouldered jackets in every shade of black that opened the show. Alongside rockabilly quiffs, matt cerise Madonna lips and crystal knots at the neck, it was a hard, convincing variation on next season's bitch dressing - alas, the flippy frippery of white milles-feuille layered confirmation dresses closing the show were neither. Perforated geometrics suspiciously reminiscent of last season's Kane further diluted the season's message, which for a relatively young brand such as Jenden proved confusing and irritating. Jenden really needs to focus on doing what he does well, and stop hiding his light under a bustle (pun intended).