London is still seen as the go-to destination for edgy, avant-garde fashion statements. It's difficult to gauge if that makes Roksanda Ilincic's job easier, or more difficult. She's never really related to that school of thought - a few raw hems in her early collections was about as close as she got to deconstruction, and she was always more at home in a luxurious cocktail bar than clubbing. Then again, when it comes to luxury, she's up against little competition here.
Today, the luxury was palpable, as thick in the air as the ostrich-feather embroideries were on the body. Ilincic was thinking of nature, specifically of the avian variety - plumage sprouted along pockets and moulted from the silken surfaces of her couture-like bolero jackets. Colour, however, contrasted muted neutrals with hyper-saturated, almost man-made shades. A stone-grey shell top juxtaposed with a toxic orange gazar skirt, for example, or the latter shade contrasted with vibrant cobalt blue in a fluttery satin shift. Those colour combos were the big story, from primary-hued fox stole to glistening satin shoe. They added a fresh pep to an otherwise standard story.
By and large, for Autumn/Winter 2011, Ilincic stuck to her guns. And while it didn't really push her look into any new territories, the slick polish and sheen on these garments guarantee her fans will feel the need to purchase a few dozen more to fill their expansive wardrobes. That's another important thing to remember about Ilincic - she's not really talking to everywoman. She's talking to a consumer who buys lustily and wears infrequently, who buys a four-figure ankle-length liquid silk-charmeuse column gown on a whim, wears it for approximately three hours at a charity dinner, then discards it to the dry-cleaner. That is, if she wears it at all. Ilincic has a canny insight when appealing to the new luxury consumer: the knowledge that, give or take a few more adventurous skirt lengths, she's really not that different to the old one.