This article is a condensed version of the original piece from our recent Dark Romance issue. You can read it by clicking here.
Founded in 1996, Preen was a label built on dark romantic and modern aesthetics, a style that imposed no exclusion to anyone, juxtaposing a mix of masculine with feminine and a hard and soft aesthetics. Preen initially started out as a small boutique in Notting Hill, before debuting at London Fashion Week SS01.
For SS18, at first glance, the bonnet hats, drapey white material, ruffles, silken camisoles and négligée-esque slip on dresses might be the epitome of a dreamy, free desirable woman. But for designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton of Preen, their two daughters aged 4 and 8, were a perpetual reminder of the history and future women have been subjected too. The collection starts off entirely white, from the cap to the linen shirt, to the seventeenth-century lace cuffs, to the pants. But all eyes were on the letter ‘A’, embroidered in red, that struck a feeling of anarchy and rebellion. A nod to Hester Prynne and the Scarlet letter, initially a symbol of humiliation and sin, Hester reclaims it and her identity. Your past is who you are today, and no shame shall discredit the freedom and liberation women possess today.
Femininity was at the heart of this collection. “We’re living in an anarchy time when people have lost faith in leaders and lost faith in society,” Thornton said. “Everyone feels a little bit disjointed and unclear about the future.” Accentuated using deconstruction, cut out jumper with lace inserts, lace and silk dresses with skewed lines and multiple colours sewn together as if a mismatched jigsaw. Unambiguous contrasts of white and red, pastel hues and silky slip-ons without undergarments are all insinuations of progressive, free thinking, modern women.
To read the full review of Preen’s SS18 show by Isabelle Cerboneschi, click here
To read the guest editors words on Preen by Jo Philips, click here