It’s back to the swinging '60s, and in a big way. Jonathan Saunders’ graphic exploration from previous seasons just went up several notches as he sent down a collection that would titillate the most blasé of graphic designers. Tate Britain’s Duveen galleries served as a canvas for towering mutli-coloured plinths that lined the runway. The air was rife with anticipation for the last show of the day, also partly due to Saunders teasing the audience with posts of Pink Floyd’s album artwork and other similar retro graphics on social media prior to the show.
But the hype was worth it. The collection excelled far beyond expectation. It was retro but executed masterfully with Saunders’ distinct precision of cut, giving a much-needed contemporary edge. Some of the print work were reminiscent of Barbara Brown’s textile design in 1965, especially the tri-colour groovy motif. Paneling was heavily employed which then blended into the graphic lines of the colour blocking, giving the illusion of seamlessness. A-line skirts resembling Pantone swatches were matched with rectangular Op art woolen sweaters, for a print-on-print effect. Racing stripes cut across solid blouses while zipper jackets were laid over matching skirts to give a slight drop-waist. Flare trousers also hinted at the early '70s. Hoop earrings and just below-the-knee lace-up boots all added to the Twiggy vibe. With the George Michael’s careless whisper in the background, one wonders if Saunders was feeling nostalgic.
As a bonus, Jessica Stam also made an unexpected appearance in the collection, eventually closing the high-energy Op art show. It all felt like a much-needed reward at the end of the third day of London Fashion Week.