Elsa Schiaparelli famously collaborated with Salvador Dalí to make a hat with an upside-down high-heeled shoe. Mary Katrantzou took that idea to a surreal new level with a collection featuring digitally printed shoes of all kinds. Men’s brogues in mahogany leather, trendy trainers with pops of color and ornate evening slippers appeared across a variety of dresses. As if that weren't enough, bursts of origami-like folds came printed with pieces from the archive of Lesage, haute couture’s go-to embroidery house. There was a lot going on and the hyper-saturated digital printing felt a little taxing on the eye at times, like looking at a computer screen for too long.
This season marked Jonathan Saunders’ 10th anniversary in the rag trade and his collection couldn’t have been more indicative of how far he's come. His failsafe dresses were still there, in many options, and featuring his masterful yet off-kilter color combinations of orange, pale blue, burgundy, purple and rosy pink. Satin flower-embroidered bombers were a continuation of last season's street-style hit, while knee-skimming spacey shorts, languid sweatpants, and ombré cardigans were welcome additions. He said it was the energy and eccentricity of his girlfriends that has continued to inspire him throughout the years since his days as a poor Central Saint Martins graduate.
Inspired by a holiday in Sicily, Temperley London’s spring collection drew on the “tropical mood in a Mediterranean environment,” according to Alice Temperley, "a Sicilian dream." However, much of the collection, which was ornate and featured trapeze shapes and full-length embellished gowns, lacked the effortlessness of Italian dressing in a way that looked faux couture. There were rose damask fabric and chiffon flowers embellished all over some dresses, which came across as try-hard. There were, however, dresses that featured an amalgamation of leopard-print and lilac floral that looked like they could be fun with the right amount of jewelry. Maybe it was the Duchess of Cambridge association that made Temperley feel the need to be princess-pretty, but a tougher edge could do this brand some good.
Spring is many things to many people. For Sophie Webster, it means flowers and butterflies. The Royal College of Art graduate made a splash with her presentation of butterfly-engineered heels, towering platforms with blooms and thigh-high boots with laser-cut butterfly wing motifs in her colorful and graphic approach. It was a refreshing and witty success, with models spread across (actual) flowerbeds.