Spring/Summer 2016 Mary Katrantzou

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In what was surely one of Mary Katrantzou’s most directly wearable collections yet, the designer returned to cosmology and the world as a starting point – we saw elements of it two seasons ago to spectacular couture-like effect, before last season’s beef-up when it came to size, texture, proportion and play. But the designer has been drilling down into the MK DNA, what makes both her and her customer tick and finding the common ground between the two, especially of late when it comes to her pre-collections – and you could see all of this had been learnt from, instigated and translated into this collection.

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The word she kept saying backstage was “light” and “desirable” – she’s always had the product, but now she’s refining it. “I wanted it to be enchanting and beautiful,” she said. There’s no doubting it was – who can say no to a shimmering little dress, a series of which she paraded out with to begin. They were microscopic in their sparkle and tied at the back or fluted in the sleeve. They were the ultimate sort of party dress with no potential pitfalls to put any shopper off.

She followed up with jewel tones for frilled and flounced numbers whose hips bloomed rose-shaped peplums. Tailoring too made an appearance – again here the emphasis was on being sharp and light. She noted that it had been about building upon structure in the past – here she seemed to be deconstructing it to just as beneficial effect.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Roland Mouret

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“To be desirable,” said Roland Mouret backstage before his show – that was the point of the collection. “The meaning of desire. I want women to feel like they want to steal the clothes from the hanger straight away.”

To this end – and with an imminent New York store opening – Mouret was going back to looking at what defined him. And joy and desire was what he concluded – his sculpted silhouettes here softened in colour-blocked pastels to make this a young and fresh collection that in plenty of white, primrose yellow, pink and lilac was the embodiment of spring/summer.

Bold floral appliqués blossomed on tote bags and skirts, dresses too – at the front and as little caped backs; elsewhere came hibiscus prints laser-cut into cotton mesh for jackets and splaying A-line skirts; asymmetric hems were accompanied by injections of grass green; shorts were out in strong force and cemented that youthful sensibility. It was refreshing.

It had all started in the fittings, explained Mouret. His women chiming in with the covetable buzzword and so leading him to develop the Mouret DNA which, while still obviously underpinning the collection today, took on a lighter and relaxed new note this time round. It was refreshing.

“I’m a practical person, a Virgo, so I’m always thinking about what women will live in, trying to anticipate their feelings – people will buy because they desire,” he summed up.

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