Whistles – Pre Spring Summer 2016 Ready To Wear
When called upon to write about a fashion collection, it’s easy to love a concept. The clothes might not be so great, but at least a high concept gives you something to reckon against, a set of ideas enticing to unpack and discuss. Whistles, the British high-street brand that’s made forays, of late, into the American market, does not do high concept. This season, for instance, the theme was “a modern take on the ’70s.” Not much to grapple with, there. Which leaves the harder work of trying to explain why you love the clothes. Perhaps it’s easier to pose the question: Why wouldn’t you? What woman is going to look askance at Whistles’ cool tunic tops, easy bi-level knits slit nearly to the armpit on each side, culotte-legged jumpsuits, or washed-out indigo denim? These were wardrobe workhorse pieces, relaxed in tone but executed with a good deal of polish and not a little wit. The design team headed by Whistles’ CEO Jane Shepherdson is savvy about layering in a little off-ness into their erstwhile accessible clothes—sometimes, a punchy, unconventional print, like this season’s folksy daisies; sometimes, a proportion just shy of the expected, as in the collection’s cropped suede jackets. This wasn’t a perfect collection—the leathers looked a little heavy, for example—but it was a solid effort. Not much to write about, but lots to wear.