Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Resort season is in full swing now, with new collections being released every day. Yesterday, Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi took over the Carlos Room at The Connaught to show off their gorgeous (as usual) Resort collection. In the week when thousands are flocking to Glastonbury, Preen's Resort was appropriately based around the idea of fashion which could take you straight from the office to a festival. Justin told me that they were thinking about conversations they'd had with friends and clients, "They tell us 'I have a meeting but then I'm dashing off to Coachella'. Our customers need clothes to wear in their transient lives". It seems an impossibility to create something that is equally appropriate for boardroom as fields, but somehow the combination of tailored pieces, luxe versions of sporty classics and sweet prints makes it happen.

As ever with Thornton and Bregazzi's work, there were stories and references galore. The most far-reaching is probably the 90s which pops up in various guises throughout the collection. "That decade is so important to us. Then, it was just as much about what Courtney Love was wearing as what Helmut Lang was sending down the runway" Thornton tells me. Love's slip dresses are evoked in the full-length fuchsia bia cut slip in luxurious night time devoré (my personal favourite) and many more floor length, floral dotted skirts. Then there are crop tops and spaghetti straps (but also crisp shirts, a-line skirts and dresses for office times). The key print was a forget-me-not flower- "we love that boys used to give them to girls as a romantic gesture"- but made modern with digital wizardry. All the pops of neon on collars, cuffs and sweatshirt ties are "a bit of rave culture".

For the first time, Preen have also created swimwear which makes perfect sense for Resort, of course. One set of pieces have been emblazoned with the Preen name, "the first time we've used a logo" says Justin, but a move which ties in with that 90s theme, "they were huge then". Even if you didn't have a pool to show off the swimwear in, I like the idea of wearing it clubbing or, indeed, to a festival as a bodysuit kind of thing. There's a duality to more than just the swimwear. "Sweatshirts have been big business for a while" Justin says, "this time we have them silk fronted and embellished with crystals". Dressed down enough for weekend mooching, dressed up enough to throw on with a mini skirt and take out dancing.

Preen swimwear (via
Preen planted their own clue to having got this collection bang on. "Balloons are really important to us. If we're looking for an answer, we look in the sky and if we see a balloon then we know it's right" Justin tells me. According to him, it's "sheer superstition'. Looking up in The Carlos Room what did you see? Balloons of course. Whether you're going to Glasto or not, these are clothes we all want to wear. Now.

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