By Genevra Leek on September 19, 2011
Despite a nerve-racking start, Sass & Bide light up the first
day of London Fashion Week with a summer collection as bright as it is
Only minutes before Sass & Bide sent their spring/summer 12
collection down the runway at London Fashion Week, designer Sarah-Jane
Clarke was suffering one of the worst meltdowns of her career.
the first time I've cried before a show," she admitted backstage when
three of the label's 26 exits came close to being cut from the line-up
because models failed to turn up until right before the 4pm start time.
it was all smiles, as Sass & Bide presented another season's mash
up of colour, texture, and proportion. Panels of tightly embroidered
silver sequins spliced with watermelon silk and navy and white batik
polka dots in grown-up silhouettes signalled a fresh, streamlined
sophistication for the high-profile label, which has built a reputation
on bowerbird styling and a more is more approach.
A simple cream
silk chiffon dress with splits sliced front, back and sides to allow
the fabric to float around the legs was positively minimalist, as was a
sheer saffron blouse with only the floor-trailing hem at the back
belying the creators' penchant for drama. "We had a bit of a departure
from tribal this season," explains Heidi Middleton. "We really had fun
with opposing forces."
Indeed, reference points vacillated
wildly between the label's signature artisanal aesthetic and
body-conscious athleticism, with Aztec-style embellishment and
neon-dipped primitive jewels sitting alongside scuba-like materials. The
juxtaposition felt new, the pieces light and modern compared to the
black taffeta and gold vinyl creations and sculptural mini dresses that
emerged later in the show.
Despite the upheaval the brand has
been experiencing with their landmark $42.25 million sale to Myer
earlier this year, or perhaps because of it, the Sass & Bide team
seem to be on top of their game.
Especially if their celebrity
following is anything to go by: Poppy Delevingne and Peaches Geldoff
perched front row, while a panting Julia Restoin-Roitfeld waited behind
the scenes to see the clothes after missing the start of the show.
true down under, down to earth-style, the pair are taking the success -
and stress - of it all in their stride: "Everything just feels pretty
much business as usual!" says Middleton.
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