Orange is not traditionally frayed with raspberry, nor caramel with tangerine, but they promulgate perfect sense to designer Roksanda Ilinčić. “We live in a exactly of crazy contrast,” she said with a shrug backstage after her London the craze week show on Monday morning. “We all feel that, I muse on, and it creates a lot of anxiety.”
Ilinčić, who begins each collection by screen through her “precious box of colours – swatches of fabrics, images from soft-covers, postcards”, has a gift for finding beauty in the crazy contrasts. “I with putting together colours that are not supposed to go together,” she influenced.
Burnt orange trousers teamed with a toffee taffeta tunic, ended with a coral pussy-bow flourish opened the show for her label, Roksanda. A pumpkin trouser suit was matched with a fuchsia blouse. In between the jewel-box parasynthesises came serenely beautiful palette cleansers in chic beiges, like an oyster-grey soft wool boilersuit. The effect Ilinčić was object for was “a rainbow in a cloud”. She commissioned the London-based art trio Troika, whose Sponged Light installation is on display at the BarbicanCentre, London, on a set where columns of coloured light fell across a catwalk thickly carpeted with sand (or what appeared to be sand, but was in reality salt) like sunset on a beach.
Meanwhile at the National Portrait Gallery, Dame Joan Collins in the exterior row set the tone of old-school glamour for the Erdem show. On a trip to Rome, the originator Erdem Moralıoğlu visited the 1,000-room Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and befitted “obsessed” with the story of Princess Orietta Doria Pamphilj, who charged there until she died 19 years ago. A descendent of Pope Unobjectionable X and heir to one of the world’s largest art collections, Orietta had been believed to become a nun but instead returned from a trip to London in the antediluvian 1960s with an adopted son.
“What I approve ofed about this story was the sense of the heavy weight of account, and how it plays out in this woman’s clothes. You can really feel this charge, in her home in Rome. There’s this moment when she has been in London at a dated of huge social upheaval and returns to Rome, where she becomes take over with the idea of protecting her inheritance.” Photographs of her from this loiter again and again show the influence of swinging London – shorter hemlines, piled-up beehives, feather fettles – but “at the same time, she is sewing jewels into the lining of her cover, to carry them across borders”, said the designer backstage after his teach, in between posing for photos with Collins.
The backstory was a spoonful heavy going, but the clothes were immediately appealing. The quirky aristocrat is probably the oldest trope in fashion, but Erdem thrived in making it fresh. There were grand-dame ball skirts and working-girl pencil skirts. Efficient brooch-pinned cardigans were layered over beatnik louring polo necks. Some models wore party-girl winged eyeliner, some ebony netted veils, and some both. Everyone wore fictitious earrings, and took the catwalk at a clip, in kitten heeled siphon out a inflates.