It takes two to make an outfit

Monday 17 September 2012


Report by David Hayes

“Options,” said Matthew Williamson backstage after his barnstorming runway outing, a collection that included a wealth of separates as well as his signature wowzer red-carpet numbers. “After 15 years in the business, I’m trying to grow up a little,” he joked. “It’s all about offering my woman more choice.”

And those choices were pretty damn tempting: the show opened with a navy-to-white ombré jacket, silk blouse and tailored-shorts combo that looked like it had been caught in a tropical downpour. And the first dress? That didn’t show up until exit five. Radical.

“There is a shift towards separates this season,” said Natalie Kingham, International Womenswear Buyer at Matches, at the Lucas Nascimento presentation – a show that majored in long-line, fine-knit tops and skirts and trousers. “We are seeing it on the shop floor as well as online. We’ve been working the dress for so long. Now there are some great print trousers and skirts coming through on the runway. I particularly loved the split wrap skirts at Preen; they looked fresh and new.”

“We wanted the collection to be sexy and wearable at the same time,” said Preen’s heavily pregnant Thea Bregazzi (her due date was the day of the show) backstage, of the duo’s minimal layered mix of animal prints and photographic rose florals. “That meant more separates this season.”

“I love separates, especially when colour and prints are the focus,” said separates evangelist of a few seasons Jonathan Saunders. “It’s important to suggest a way of wearing the collection, but it’s also about letting the customer understand how she can wear it her own way.”

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