This morning's Preen show was held at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building, an appropriate clean white space for Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton's brilliant colour palette to shine. S/S 2012's sweet macaroon shades still cling to mind and in any case, Michelle Harper was there in last season's finale look to remind us all of what the London-based pair are capable of.
With inspiration cited as Beatrix Potter's botanical studies you would expect some lovely floral prints and you'd be right but these two like to take things one step further. Last season's digitised square print was in fact an extreme close-up of a vase of peonies. And so, the floral prints on the knee-length skirts resembled lively watercolours and teamed with simple, and at times sheer, tops, the effect was serene and calm. Preen tend to make their dresses look like separates so a blouse tucked into a skirt was in fact a dress, cleverly let slightly loose at the back of the waist for an easy feel. A butterfly print was equally lovely but Bregazzi and Thornton quickly zoomed out of the intricate details and focused on an earthy palette of amber, navy and green. A high-waisted pair of front-pleated trousers, tawny brown at the front, navy at the back teamed with a high-neck white top and a sharp navy blazer showed what a great working wardrobe a woman can get from these two.
If the silhouettes did not change much, the combination of panels of block colours, prints and lace did and in the end, a gorgeous bell-shaped dress came with a skirt resembling a crusty old floral wallpaper straight from Beatrix Potter's cottage, plastered with sequins and embroidery. That managed to feel both nostalgic and modern.