On a Zoom call, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi were enthusing about an exhibition of the British dancer and choreographer Michael Clark’s work at the Barbican. “It’s so contemporary, but there’s a sense of anarchy that runs throughout it. We thought, How could we put a sense of anarchy [in the collection]? It’s more a feeling than an obvious influence,” said Thornton.
Entering year three of the pandemic, designers are circling around themes of individualism, uncertainty, and even chaos. At Preen, those ideas coalesced most obviously in dresses pieced together from past-season scraps, bricolages aswirl with bold stripes and mismatched florals that mixed pretty with punk. Graphic black-and-white tops worn with slim knee-length skirts were similarly collaged from separate pieces of crepe jersey—not printed—in the curving shapes of dancers’ arabesques. Elsewhere, solid-color dresses defined by their swoops of ruching looked sexy and easy to wear in equal measure—flattering, they said, for all types of bodies.
But for all their talk of anarchy and punk flourishes, the husband-and-wife duo also has a practical side: A double-layer dress of red stretch tulle and acid green floral print can be worn together or separately, and the same goes for a mac that comes apart into a cropped jacket and a gilet dress. “It’s the idea that a garment has a lot more longevity,” said Bregazzi. “I love the idea that you can wear it to different occasions and be a little adventurous as well.” The best-in-show outerwear, though, was the eiderdown puffer jacket made from more of their upcycled fabrics.
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