A design from Christine Phung's Spring 2017 collection for Leonard.

For her first full collection for Leonard, Christine Phung — who joined the house in April — wanted to strike a balance between effortless dressing and luxe details.

The result is a mix between a contemporary design approach and exacting fabric research, based on the house’s archival prints — think throw-on evening and cocktail dresses in tropical motifs worn with sheer embroidered bomber jackets.

Phung tapped hip graphic designer Leslie David to customize a palm pattern that was used on items including a super-chic cropped jumpsuit. She deconstructed linear prints by slicing them into strips, which were then stitched like a lining into the pleats of a black skirt or woven into a kimono-style top. 

Dresses in pleated metallic lamé conjured a Seventies vibe — à la Bianca Jagger at Studio 54. “I wanted things to be cool, easy to wear, sophisticated, hyper-elegant and post-modern,” the designer said. “One of my aims is to give Leonard a real legitimacy on the red carpet, as well as for cocktail and occasionwear.”

Phung also introduced a more tailored element, with items like a graphic white sleeveless dress with woven silver accents that fastened to one side with a nylon loop belt. “It’s really a mix between luxury and couture, and sportswear and modernity,” she explained. 

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