Preen designer Justin Thornton said that he and his partner Thea Bregazzi had their two daughters’ future “and the world that they’re going to grow up in” on their minds this season. Spurred on by what he described as “this feeling of anarchy in the world,” Thornton and Bregazzi pored over periods in history that have been tough for women, creating a collection that played with a femininity that was by turns ethereal and powerful.
The persecuted Hester Prynne of “The Scarlet Letter” inspired a handful of looks that nodded to Puritan dress. Some were conservative — as in a high-collared white cotton shirt embroidered with a tiny scarlet “A,” worn with petticoat-like white pants — while others were less prim. One négligée-like white dress was fashioned from patches of lace-edged white silk, worn with bright red socks and stitched with the “A.” Bonnet-like cotton caps heightened the historical feel.
In contrast were designs with a liberated, celebratory air. A pale turquoise organza camisole dress had tiers of showgirl-like ruffles, while a pastel pink devoré silk dress, inset with lace, conveyed an off-hand glamour. The dresses’ colors, Thornton noted, took their cues from healing crystals. The couple was inspired by the “earthy, off-pastel” tones of those stones.
Thornton and Bregazzi continued to funnel their multitude of influences into the asymmetric, unconventional and feminine silhouettes that have become a signature of their work. Their ever-evolving, thought-provoking themes also give their collections energy and purpose.