Duro Olowu has a expertise for selecting muses. His newest is the artist Amrita Sher-Gil, the “Frida Kahlo of India,” as Olowu described her, who managed to determine each a formidable physique of labor and an equally spectacular repute as a freethinking sexual experimenter earlier than she died out of the blue on the age of 28. Olowu’s silhouettes this season have been a contact suggestive of these of India within the final days of the Raj—these late ’30s bias cuts, broad lapels, and built-up shoulders match neatly into his idiom—however, primarily, it was Sher-Gil’s spirit that he drew on for his new assortment. He conjured her through a mixture of boldness and ultra-femininity.
The boldness got here via within the prints, the very best of which was a dot-and-stripe on silk that Olowu confessed he’d doodled whereas on the phone. (By no means throw something away, is the ethical of that story.) There was additionally a painterly but graphic wild orchid print, which Olowu executed along with his usually canny sense of colour.
Olowu’s garments at all times have a female aptitude—even his tailor-made items boast a sure voluptuousness. He doubled down on that right here, displaying a number of seems that featured flounces and ruffles. An extended ruffle-hemmed camisole, worn with an identical likewise ruffled lengthy skirt for a tiered impact, made for one of many assortment’s standout seems to be. One other was a black gown open within the again and ruffled down either side; Olowu doesn’t often fiddle with neutrals, however this frock’s all-black shade (or lack thereof) solely showcased the grace of its minimize. There was a equally interesting sense of frankness to the cotton items in cobalt and khaki.
As famous, Sher-Gil died younger. Maybe that accounts for the actual fact this assortment appeared an unusually youthful one for Olowu. It was onerous to place a finger on the place that tone got here from precisely—these garments weren’t a far cry from these Olowu has created up to now. Perhaps it was the additional pores and skin on show, concerning the again and shoulders; perhaps it was the way in which these items, even right down to the robes, exuded an air of thrown-on informality. No matter it was, the youthful kick added to the attraction of Olowu’s acquainted aesthetic, with out diminishing its friendliness to ladies of all ages, types, and shapes.