Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley cast their eyes to the Eighties, and to the pop colors and patterns of Kansai Yamamoto. Their collection was wild, full of color and languid proportions in the form of a check Zoot suit, its jacket slashed open at the front, and a camel pinstripe suit with a short jacket and roomy, tracksuit-style trousers. Blouses and dresses were draped, folded, knotted or tied, as in a silk raspberry dress with statement sleeves and piratical flair, and a black tuxedo jacket with a cascade of jewel-toned, fringed silk spilling from the back.
The collection had its New Romantic moments, too, in the form of a white poet’s blouse with wide ruffles around the neck and wrists, and cotton striped shirts with layered sleeves and long flowing tails. These clothes, with their dramatic proportions and look-at-me colors, aren’t for everyone: Only the cool kids need apply. In an interview, Bartley said that she and Hillier are always pitting the ideas of restriction and traditional British dressing against a sense of playfulness and a punk attitude. “It’s a rebellious, deconstructed idea of conservatism, but we don’t ever want to feel elitist, we want this collection to be wearable,” she said.