Photography by Shaniqwa Jarvis
Report by Heath Brown

A total mix and mismatch of prints is a recent trend that has had many a follower of fashion saturated in ‘darling’ decoration: a flower print here, an embellished stripe there – all very frenetic. But as the mood evolves, fabrics themselves are becoming the focus, as contrasting textures and weights are fused side by side, layer upon layer, to create brave new combinations that are fresh and fashion forward.

“The collage feel at Unique was unintentional; it just happened,” said Creative Director Kate Phelan backstage, post-show. The collection featured layers and panels in gauze, sparkling fabric and enforced cotton. “We made everyday fabrics more precious by putting different textures and weights next to each other – firm panels alongside soft, flowing sections.”

Over at Preen (above), print was there but the fabrics were the ones in the mix. “We looked to Seventies patchwork snakeskin and leather jackets and then reinvented them in our own way. We worked water snake next to printed versions of python in silk and cotton,” said designer Thea Bregazzi after the show, “putting different materials together as well as print to create texture.”

It’s all part of a yearning seen in London designers to juxtapose jarring fabrics and textures to get them to harmonise. “I’m drawn to the chemistry of the texture of different fabrics,” Eudon Choi explained. “Patent next to chiffon, on top of viscose Lurex with metal – I love the results of the experiment!”

Designers are exploring what materials you would NOT put together and are coming up with a whole new look. Call it collage, call it fabric-blocking, call it minimal patchwork – it’s what London does best: try the impossible to create the latest looks.

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