EMILIO DE LA MORENA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON
Emilio de la Morena may be the most frustrating designer in London. His talent is proven: Every so often, he sends out a collection of such spirit and panache, you forget his tendency to get lost in his own good ideas. Today featured one of those outings where you felt like he’d been trapped in a maze of his own making. Which was especially frustrating because it was also a collection that featured some of the tightest looks de la Morena has ever shown.
Does the DSM specify a designer-specific obsessive-compulsive disorder symptomized by the need to overdecorate clothes? Because when de la Morena was on his meds here, so to speak, and keeping his luxe looks on the matter-of-fact side of things, he was on great form: Witness the trim dresses of brocade mesh layered over lace and lightly trimmed in velvet, or the patchwork coat of Steiff teddy bear fur, or the sleek velvet pencil dress in burgundy tones, a silhouette that’s shone for de la Morena before, which he elaborated with a touch of lace and a touch of beading around the hem. These (and a few other) ensembles had snap. But much of this collection suffered from a bad case of the rococo. There was just too much going on.
Only two seasons ago, for Resort, de la Morena created a collection with a great sense of measure, one that expressed his taste for prettiness via pared-down, architectural yet feminine forms. His painterly sense of color and great feel for fabric came to the fore. He needs to get back in touch with whatever it was that inspired that collection’s discipline. Otherwise, his rococo disorder may prove fatal.