This collection may have been inspired by the grim and gritty realism of films such as “A Taste of Honey,” and Al Vandenberg’s street-life photos, but instead it was full of joy and zesty pattern.
Duro Olowu scattered his famously bright prints — leopard spots, floating flowers, checks and other geometric shapes — across breezy, youthful silhouettes with a Swinging ’60s edge.
There was so much here, for dress lovers, jacket-and-trouser devotees and ladies who favor capes.
He tossed together two diagonal check prints for a zippy A-line shift with a scarf collar, and splashed a red and green flower print over a midi dress with a ’70s dagger collar and perky shoulders.
Tailoring was soft and shapely, with patterned knit jackets and coats layered over matching sweaters and trousers; a neat, belted military jacket festooned with flowers, and a silk velvet suit bright as an Aperol spritz.
There were capes galore — long ones to cover a dress; a dramatic sculptural one covered in animal spots, and floral ones to match all the dresses.
Even with all the jazzy prints and couture touches, such as bits of tulle stuffed in the shoulder of a jacket or blouse to give it structure, Olowu’s approach is all about ease.
He said he wants people to feel good in his clothes, and forget about them once they’re on. His knit coats are light enough to be rolled up and packed into a suitcase, while his rayon and silk-blend dresses shed their wrinkles after a short steam in the shower.
Fashion lovers can’t get enough of Olowu, who has been designing for years, and whose blend of fine tailoring, vibrant patterns and couture touches is magical.
His skills are so renowned that one up-and-coming designer, Pharrell Williams, paid him a visit earlier this week, sitting through the fall 2023 presentation in Olowu’s shop in London’s St. James’s.
Pharrell, who last week was named creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, was in London for the Moncler Genius event, and attended Olowu’s presentation along with his wife Helen Lasichanh and their eldest child Rocket.