Spread across a number of rooms in one of the largest and most remarkable houses in London, b Store's SS12 collection was showcased in an intriguing and playfully voyeuristic presentation produced with long term collaborator Pete Hellicar. As we watched on four large screens in one room, the street casted models explored and interacted with a film shown on screens in an adjacent room. The layers of film echoed the texture and mix of prints in the designs beautifully. Taking initial inspiration from their own love affair with Italian cinema, in particular Bertolucci's 'The Sheltering Sky' and Visconti's 'Death in Venice', the design duo built a character to dress. Once they had used this mixture of identities and appropriated influences to create a profile, the pair set about designing the idealised wardrobe of a modern English privileged colonial.
From loose linen and cotton drill trousers in beige and khaki, plaid check shorts and matching blazers in b favourite blue, school colours striped sweatshirts and t-shirts were mixed effortlessly to create looks that explored his past and future. Alongside the ever impressive menswear, Chloe Struyk debuted her seductive vision of the b girl. Inspired by a menswear shirt, Struyk used a number of the same fabrics as the men's collection but manipulated and distorted them in such a way that transformed them so that they were more feminine and practically unrecognisable. Building on the successful foundations laid by Natascha Stolle, Struyk has created a womenswear offering that has an identity of its own yet still echoes the much coveted menswear.