To his critics, his consistency is condemned as predictability. To his fans – and there are many of them, both of the ladies-who-lunch variety and from the designers at Debenhams, budget-conscious stable – Jasper Conran is the ever-reliable provider of classic, timeless style.
His latest collection at London Fashion Week, presented yesterday as far as possible from the usual Shoreditch warehouse trail in the august surroundings of the Royal Academy's Burlington Gardens rooms, offered quintessential Conran fare of elegant tailoring.
It didn't take any chances – but then, if you're the best-selling designer that fashion week has to offer, as Conran is, if you total up his additional branded products, why would you need to?
All his clothes had an understated yet polished feel to them. The girls wore flat ballet pumps and oozed the grace of off-duty ballerinas. The key colours were, typically, black and white, to which were added an array of nude and neutral shades, and enlivened with splashes of emerald green, clementine and Venetian red. The silhouette was sculpted and clean, focusing on 1950s-inspired shell tops worn with voluminous pleated and tulip skirts in various silk finishes, slim trousers, and tailored coats. With no surface embellishment all the interest was in the shape, colour and fabric.
Those looking for a bolder fashion statement might have been curiously awaiting the first collection from the recently relaunched Ossie Clark label. However, exactly what new designer Avsh Alom Gur was trying to say remained ambiguous.
This was only a capsule presentation, so it may yet mature, but in the meantime fans of the original designer should seek out vintage versions of his clothes.
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