Roksanda Ilincic's last resort collection was a smash hit, both commercially and critically - and for S/S 2011 she reasoned, naturally enough, that more of a good thing is never bad. Hence, she filched that collections summery feel evoked by contrasts of acid colour and pale pastels, weightless layers of Gazar and airy dreaminess, and represented it on the catwalk for her spring collection. Clever girl: those ideas she first explored three or so months ago have found ample reflections in the other collections - those flashes of neon have been everywhere - and her latest offering look perfectly in-line with Ilincic's contemporaries.
Maybe that was the problem. We're used to Ilincic marching to her own beat rather than following others, and striving to refine her own aesthetic of chicly deconstructed couture beyond hitting trends. There were a few touches of that here - the tulle trims she has been using for a few seasons once more outlined pockets, seams and hems, and the bubbly volume of all that wide-woven gazer in eye-popping pink was caught up with nothing more contrived than a teal grosgrain bow. There was a feeling of fresh easiness to much on offer, slouchy trousers, easy blouses and fine jersey t-shirts in sugary shades of lavender, the fabric of kaftans and delicate Grecian evening gowns puffing out with air as models walked. It felt plain, simple and easy - both to wear, but alas also to design. That was a disappointment.
Ilincic had her first baby this summer, so we can absolutely forgive her if her attention was focused elsewhere for this one season. And credit where credit's due, this show offered women a veritable landslide of gorgeous clothes, even if it didn't take Ilincic anywhere new. But fashion is a cruel business. Next time I don't think her audience will give her as much grace.