After making a name for herself with detailed, floral embroideries overlaid with painting-inspired prints, Alice Archer branched out this season with a collection that was a dreamy study of all kinds of sea life.

“I think it was a determination not to look at flowers,” said Archer during her presentation. It was held in a grand, powder-blue room at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, where the models were positioned around a dramatic coral sculpture. Instead of flora, the underwater world inspired all manner of embroideries and embellishments.

One lilac tulle dress had a waist-panel embroidered in silky threads, inspired by fuzzy brain coral, while white jellyfish appeared to float across a navy skirt and jacket in devoré velvet. Archer continued to work artistic details into the collection, with a print taken from a Lawrence Alma-Tadema painting of pink rose petals coloring the coral embroidered on a deep blue dress.

This succinct presentation showcased a decidedly glamorous side of Archer’s work, without the sweet daytime pieces — such as embroidered gingham shirts — that she’d shown the previous season. But even without that breadth, this outing was an appealing evolution of Archer’s hand-worked designs.

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