I'll admit I was highly ecstatic upon opening the orange envelope containing an orange perspex invitation to the A/W 2013 Jasper Conran show. This is a creative industry here; invitations are generally the first impression of a collection, and fluorescent orange plastic was particularly exciting in this case. Fashion shows are quite theatrical, as well; there's a stage (the runway, the presentation space), lights, music. So walking into the tents at Somerset House to see an orange runway and the room illuminated by its reflection was again some indication of the overall mood.
The aesthetic was quite mod; exaggerated cloche hats, flouncy trapeze dresses, pleated mini skirts and tailored shirts were accompanied by matching tights and patent flats for the illusion of infinite legs. (Hardly an illusion, actually.) The garments were sophisticated without feeling stuffy, youthful without feeling juvenile. Silhouettes were kept quite tame, but the brilliant use of color and accessories made the collection - to sound obvious - pop.
Much of Conran's work is built on the idea of "classics reimagined," and his A/W 2013 was no different in that regard. Certainly destined to be a commercial success - entirely wearable - Jasper Conran epitomizes a different side of London fashion. Not necessarily eccentric or shocking, but based on the concept of tradition mixed with the contemporary.
Many thanks to Jenny Holland and the team at Jasper Conran for giving me the opportunity to attend this show!
Images and review by Catherine Everett
P.S. Yes, that is Hilary Alexander seated in the front row, visible in 80% of these photos.