Tough and Tender 2
In almost a textbook illustration of this trend, the talented Christopher Bailey sent out yet another commercially-viable yet always interesting collection which seems to ask “how do you make lace, crochet and old lady florals not matronly and twee?” The answer is to contrast with everything opposite, of course. Lace babydolls are matched to quite utilitarian trenchcoats, clompy sandals decorated with chain, a backpack to go with almost every look, night or day. Gold military braid and embroidery – which is masculine, not pretty, is always paired with the delicate and sheer – fragile cut-work, beading, and lace. The florals look geometric rather than romantic or painterly. While the dresses are seriously delicate, outer wear is usually bold, adorned with buttons. All looks are styled with unlikely stompy sandals, rendering the bare legs unseductive. Always with the presence of metallic elements, a chain or buckles from a bag, a bold belt, studs on sandals, the looks have an aggressive gladiatorial vibe, and recall the bold work of Gianni Versace in the 1990s.