As the sunrays beat down onto a glass topped open-air show space, spicy terracotta, exotic jades and burning neon yellow visually communicated the hothouse vibe. By the time the show was over, invitations had become fans.
White, crisp and oversized shirt tunics with undone shirtsleeves, layered belting, armour like cropped outerwear and wide legged black pants combated super chic daywear via tropes belonging to the world of martial arts.
A satin and chiffon bias dress arrived fairly quickly, like a sorbet cleanser – apricot and the richness of Seville orange quenched and devoured. The bias wasn’t the only work executed at a 45-degree angle. Asymmetric dresses and tunics were cut across shoulders, whilst striped bandeaus patch-worked across the form to create sporty cocktail dresses. Some of the broader strips were injected with misaligned multicoloured inserts, and though optically interesting, looked a little difficult to wear. A chinoiserie bricolage section managed to stay the right side of wearable, thanks to clean lines and incredible trousers. No matter how tongue-in-cheek ones’s relationship is with chinoiserie, I think a modern designer like Saunders should relegate this style to history. It speaks of otherness rather than globalism.
The best were three seventies style belted shirtdresses, printed with an array of geometric floral prints. The colour palettes were more grounded than the rest of the collection, and the silhouettes elegantly wearable. They weren’t trying to be now. They weren’t trying to be the past. They were forever.