Wed, 15/02/2006 - 4:30pm
Cardinal Place, 80 Victoria Street, SW1
Power dressing is back with a vengeance at Preen. Designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton have steered away from their trademark rock-n-roll deconstructed chic and produced a streamlined, modernist collection for city slickers. There wasn't a pair of skinny trousers in sight - in fact Preen has decreed AW06 to be all about the dress. However, all the action is happening above the knee.
Short, sharp and sexy - we saw a series of tulip shaped dresses with tight bodices, shift dresses in metallic grey, pinafore dresses, one-shouldered dresses, strapless dresses, and evening dresses (short) with graphic cut-out panels and plenty of plunge. One outfit (clearly a labour of love) was made from silvery-grey feathers whilst others (stretch mini dresses with bondage strap detail) reminded us of 'the king of cling' Azzedine Alia.
Another hit is the outerwear. The Preen duo offered up several oatmeal cashmere coats tied at the waist. One asymmetric number with wide, turned-up sleeves and wrap-over detail on the lapel is the ultimate in modern cool. Other versions include shearling jackets; houndstooth trenches and boxy single-breasted wool coats in shades of black, slate and pale smoke grey.
The menswear was kept to a minimum. Again, the mood is graphic and understated. Pale grey utilitarian shirts and slacks had a futuristic feel as did cropped felted wool jackets and slouchy trousers. The suiting is more dapper in tone. A black velvet smoking jacket looked super louche with a matching waistcoat and slim fitting trousers.
All things considered, this is an ultra chic, seriously grown-up collection tipped to fly off the rails. Get your orders in while you can!
Words: Bianca Donnelly. Photos: David Jones.