Sex. Cricket. Late-’80s hip-hop. The Masai. There was a heady mix of influences in the latest Preen collection, a dynamic, high-energy outing to be sure. The show this morning was also a pretty hit-or-miss affair, with too many looks that muddled the message and, indeed, an excess of looks in general. Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi: Get thee an editor! The hits, without exception, were the ensembles that expressed one or, maximum, two themes very directly. The show-opening wrap dress, inspired by Masai robes? Clear communication there. Super-short bandage dresses of cricket stripe? A touch goofball, but thumbs-up. The hip-hop reference mainly seemed to come through the bold, primary color palette; the sex thing was expressed through the little body-con dresses. Cricket stripe and cricket white were a major emphasis here, and the Masai reference was distilled through wrapping and a ton of multicolor fringe—easily the collection’s most memorable element. And then, on top of all that, there was a whole bunch of other stuff going on—like a crazy variety of mashed-up graphic and foliage prints, and architectural tailoring, and passages of digital florals, and lace—that really got in the way of the storytelling. You wished more had been done with those bright hip-hop zippers and not so much with the cricket stripe, a nice motif that was overused. The real issue here, though, was sensory overload. A good deal less would have done a great deal more.

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