Report from the exhibition by susanna lau
Photography by Shaniqwa Jarvis
A Hermione de Paula skirt and matching gauntlets together with an Olga Vilshenko feather-print blouse is an outfit that I’d wear to wander around Kew Gardens, doing elegant mid-20th century couture poses. A ridiculous scenario to imagine, but that’s what dramatic gauntlet gloves with sumptuous embroidery evoke in me.
Hermione de Paula has always been drawn to the darker side of a floral print, but for A/W 12 she takes a prettier turn towards feather-flecked and sequined embellishment on winter-flowering plants. Her collection also has thigh-high boot chaps embroidered in the same way, conjuring up a fancy floral take on the attire of a 17th-century musketeer.
Vilshenko, meanwhile, digs at her Russian roots to pick out folkloric details to plant them on contemporary clothes. The repeat arrangement of feathers on the blouse is the perfect component to complete my rarefied fantasy.
Hermione de Paula and Olga Vilshenko are both at the Exhibition, First Floor Showrooms, Somerset House.