Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
As early-phase Princess Diana transfixed the planet via butterfly eyes, helmet hair, and Bellville Sassoon-sourced flounce, Ray Petri was piecing together Buffalo, a tough new dialect of style cultured in West London. Four decades on—and in the same neighborhood—Preen by Thornton Bregazzi built Resort ’16 around these two long-gone extremes.
All the nautical tics—collars, bibs, Bretons—were a nod to Di’s for the looks that came blurred by lace or fractured by vector. The predominant print of stripes peppered with chevrons recalled the jazzy graphics overload—Duran Duran art—of then. À la Petri, there was plenty of seemingly ad hoc swathing and incongruous, grandmotherly embroidered floral decoration: softness to amplify the strong. The yellow bellow of a drop-waist dévoré dress was ramped up to a mustard shout. Viscose mix satin-finish dresses, consistently prime performers at Preen, were refigured through soft ruche and hard shoulder. Print collared white shirts came slit at the side to allow an untucked back, while a deep-V bolero jacket with a lemon belt and a contrast piano-key collar sat jauntily over twine-gusseted cropped pants. A print-trimmed, sailor-collared, oversize khaki trench could be old-school Aquascutum remixed, yet the heftier fabrication of its black equivalent had a modern, scuba-synthetic viscose chunkiness. It was a mix that devotees of Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi should go ape for: tough/lady, strong/quirk, ’80s nostalgia/right now.