Jess McGuire Dudley, John Smedley’s head of marketing and design, said she focused on three pillars of the brand for this second showing since it relaunched its women’s wear line: color, craftsmanship and Britishness. Inspired by the abstract art movement, the palette was refined to tones of gray, oxblood and black.
Key pieces included a bulbous, black-ribbed cardigan and a roomy knee-length dress with a funnel neck. Eye-catching pieces included maxi tube skirts in a wide rib and flared pants. But considering this is a brand with 230 years of history to mine, and with the technical wherewithal to realize knitwear for young designers like Holly Fulton and Phoebe English, it would have been nice to see a few more adventurous ideas.