Continuing in the vein of their spring lineup focused on grace and movement, Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia played with the idea of bringing lightness into evening offerings for pre-fall. The pair reliably offers flirty and feminine pieces in the form of baby-doll dresses and fluid maxis, so it isn’t surprising to see these signatures here. It’s good to see the expansion of these pieces — using softer fabrics, point d’esprit, introducing new sleeve shapes — that will keep their core customers and retailers coming back for more.
With key themes including “Victorian,” “aristocrat” and “country chic,” there was a sense of laid-back formality in the designs. Mutton sleeves were a highlight, shown as a short length on an evening-appropriate cropped top with an open back, also as off-shoulder exaggerated attachments on a blue floral dress (held together only by an elastic band to allow for motion). Victorian elements were included via ruffles, bishop sleeves and high-smocked necklines — the latter found on silk georgette dresses with contrast flounces on the skirt; they were buttoned up but still airy and light. A paneled dress held together by lattice work featured two types of embroideries: sheared thread work with the appearance of velvet on the skirt, and beading on the bust, showing a playfulness in the collection and depth in the design. Pastoral, Victorian, romantic — it was a vast collection of beautiful and intriguing day-to-evening fare.
To offer as much range as possible to customers, department stores will start offering customizable options to silhouettes, including fabric choice and color. S&B stores will also offer key silhouettes in exclusive colorways.