Mother of Pearl – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
Born and raised in the 21st century, Mother of Pearl is a very of-this-moment concoction: post-sports sport-luxe that embraces the “masculine,” majors in print, and minors in embellishment. So it was interesting to see Amy Powney apply motifs and flourishes drawn from two bygone but just as identifiable moments in female attire—Edwardian flounce and women’s wartime workwear—for Resort.
This wasn’t done with any great agenda, Powney confessed. She recently calculated that she’s designing around 700 pieces per year for MoP and doesn’t have time for any conceptual dillydallying. No, she merely felt that the chintzy, demure frilliness of one would make an interesting counterpoint to the pragmatic functionality of the other—and that both of them would make effective grist for the Mother of Pearl mill. She was right. The cutesy knot detail, derived from Land Girl head scarves, worked prettily on sleeves and sneaker-soled Mary Janes and sandals. Ladies’ parlor florals were heaped on printed silk track pants, workwear-touched jackets with cosmetically pumped-up bellows pockets, and easy-moving dresses in which the pleats contained contradictory color flashes.
Women wearing petticoats and frilly yokes won the battle for universal suffrage. And their wartime daughters’ work on farms and in factories helped lay the ground for campaigns for gender equality that were yet to come. Powney defines MoP’s unique selling point as “never uptight and never restricted,” which seems a happy manifesto for the freedoms of now. So if you want to dress like Mark Zuckerberg on a spring break reunion—see look 25—why the hell not?