Alice Archer said she wished to channel “a sense of Englishness and romance” into her fall collection. So she turned to the archives of London’s Kew Gardens, finding inspiration for her floral motifs in the 18th century botanical illustrations housed there.
Those elaborate floral designs appeared as lavish embroideries on feminine silhouettes, such as a high-waist, frilled pencil skirt in scarlet crushed velvet, paired with a matching bolero jacket. Archer’s highly detailed fabrications also numbered birds of paradise embroidered onto floor-length satin skirts or short silk robes. The designer printed those embroideries in ombré shades, inspired by the colors of Degas’ paintings of dancers.
Archer’s charming mise en scène underlined the collection’s fragile, ornate appeal, with her models wandering through the higgledy-piggledy rooms of a Georgian townhouse in London’s Soho.
This was the Royal College of Art graduate’s first appearance on the London Fashion Week schedule since she started her label last year. Her line has already attracted the attention of Simon Burstein, formerly of London retailer Browns, who is backing Archer’s business, with the designer’s studio housed in Burstein’s new London concept store, The Place.