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Preen Womenswear A/W10

A masculine and feminine mix and some clever protective cocooning was at play at Preen.

PhotographyMark Reay

You can always rely on Preen to really concentrate on what they do best which is some serious shape-forming. There's no need to ask about themes or inspiration points as each season flows onto another in their quest for sculpted clothing. This season, they did inject a masculine touch with tailoring that wrapped and cinched as well as a continuation of the underwear as outerwear trend from S/S 10 that was reconfigured with a half polo neck, open chest shape. Feminity prevailed though in the floral prints, the plays on opacity and also the jewellery which was made in collaboration with Egyptian jeweller Azza Fahmy.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point of the collection:
Thea Braggazi: We were looking at masculine and feminine and we wanted to add some tailoring to the collection. We were really interested in women wearing menswear tailoring but we wanted it to be very sensual and soft. So it didn't feel bulky or strict like a man's.
Justin Thornton: We wanted it to have a soft feminine feel and we wanted to have a feminine attitude, so we had a Peter Saville piece with the flower which was the inspiration for the floral patterns. The grey in the piece was the flannel of the suits.

DD: You really played with this upper neck shape that was like a half-polo neck.
Thea: We call it an 'open chest' where it's really wide at the shoulders and we thought it was really interesting to have that gap that gives cleavage. Then there were a lot of underwear/outerwear themes.

DD: You always play with different textures each season - what did you develop this season?
Thea: We always like mixing textures. This time we used this shaved cow hide and when you see it up close it's really beautiful. This is a bobbly silk and it looks really heavy but it's actually sumptuous and it's actually very airy.
Mixing texture was very important to us.

DD: How did the collaboration with Azza Fahmy come about?
Thea: They're an Egyptian jewellers. It's very traditional techniques they use at their factory. So we did a few ideas and made it more space-agey, mixing these futuristic shapes with the hand crafted techniques.
Justin: It's literally all made by hand.
Thea: We also did these belts that mixed gold and silver which is their trademark. We wanted this idea of putting neckpieces that peeked out from under polonecks and we wanted to take Azza Fahmy's jewellery out of its original context.

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