As each day of London Fashion Week passes, summer seems more and more like an abstract notion. Today's dull skies and streaking rain are a far more accurate reflection of Britain's year-round misery.
So instead of a backdrop in luminous green parkland, Barbara Casasola's show at the Serpentine Galleries played out in grey half-light surrounded by bleak, muddy fields. In seasons past, Casasola's been a reliable infusion of international heat, from swaying, fine-pleated metallic surfaces to hazy sand-toned palettes. But this time round she seemed to have given in to the gloom, sending out drab-coloured two-piece suits and greatcoats in schoolyard shades of navy, oxblood and flannel grey.
There was still plenty of heat, though, in the collection's surfaces and shapes. Long, liquid planes of satin draped low around the hip, slit towards the hemline to create unexpected eddies of fabric. Fine, ribbed knits were pulled down well below the collarbone, exposing distinctly un-British slices of skin. Bandage-wrap tops, tiered translucent skirts and satin inserts extended the lingerie vibe — and ensured that Casasola's design dialect, even in newly low-key mode, didn't get lost in translation.