According to the show notes, Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi were inspired by the end of the world–or more specifically, Derek Jarmon’s stylized version of the end of the world in his post apocalyptic New Wave cult film Jubilee.
The first looks out were sharply tailored suits in a stark red, black, and white palette. It was the kind of power dressing that would definitely look at home in a post apocalyptic world where, presumably, even the well-dressed need to fend for themselves–it was almost like a kind of modern day armor, the purpose of which is to intimidate as well as protect.
The show notes also cited Richard Avedon’s photos of model Dorian Leigh as an inspiration–a reference point which no doubt provided the subtle notes of femininity and nods to 1950 couture shapes. Jackets, blouses and dresses were expertly tailored with pleats that flared out in the back, creating a sort of modern bustle effect. It was something you could only catch as the items swished by–but the subtlety made it all the more alluring.
Zippers were placed strategically in body-contouring lines at the hips and waist. The zippers were meant to reference the original “anarchic wardrobe.” It might have been inspired by punk but the effect was almost couture.
Later the runway gave way to surprising bursts of embellished garments: structured v-neck shift dresses and a black and white shirt and skirt combo encrusted with Harlequin crystals. It was a playful, slightly unexpected take on evening wear for a brand that’s all about whispering, not shouting. The show notes call it “quiet luxury,” an apt description.
If the end of the world looks like this then maybe the apocalypse won’t be so bad.