It's been a few years since Sass & Bide last showed in London, and with a brand new creative director it was clearly time for a change of venue. Anthony Cuthbertson, who today showed his debut collection for the label, has been widely quoted as saying he wants to make the brand more relevant to the northern hemisphere. It's a problem for many Australian brands, who almost need to show a trans-seasonal collection if they want to appeal to their home fan base whilst staying current to the rest of the world's buying schedule.
Cuthbertson used layering to create global appeal -- coats over skirts over leather pants, the occasional floaty train and a few wooly hats chucked in for good measure. This is a collection that can be stripped back, pared down, and mixed up at any time of year. In other words, it's exactly what he was aiming for.
It wasn't a complete departure from the Sass & Bide you're familiar with -- Heidi Middleton and Sarah Jane Clarke's influences were still visible in the black, cream and metallic color palette, and in the glittering skinny trousers that were, for a long time, their signature.
However, everything about today's show just felt a little bit... cooler. Cuthbertson's girl is the most fun one at the party -- the one who can unabashedly rock a glittering gold embellished jacket, but casually, over shorts and ankle boots.
Yes, there was some obvious sex appeal on show, in the form of leather bustier tops and skintight dresses stretched over leather trousers. But the designer also showed off some seriously impressive design techniques, particularly the Jetson-esque origami-shouldered coats -- those will no doubt come with a waiting list.