Sunday 25 March 2018

Jasper Conran's Graceful Geometry and Luminous Colours

 Jasper Conran's vivid, monochromatic colours and bold silhouettes at his AW18 show in London. Photograph (above) by Kseniya Segina for DAM. Cover picture by Elli Ioannou
As one of Britain's leading designers and part of a family design dynasty started by his father Sir Terence Conran, Jasper Conran has worked across all aspects of design including fashion, the theatre and interiors. His streamlined and richly-coloured Autumn/Winter 2018 show was one of the highlights of last month's London Fashion Week. His latest collection has a spare yet graceful geometry highlighted by luminous colours, writes Antonio Visconti. Photographs by Kseniya Segina

Brilliant colour and flowing
silhouettes at the AW18 show
JASPER Conran is one of the founding members of London Fashion Week which originally started life as London Designer Collections. He trained at Parson’s School of Design in New York and produced his first womenswear collection in 1978 when he was 19 years old. Since then, Mr. Conran has also designed costumes and sets for ballet, opera and theatre productions and continued to expand his range to include menswear, homewares collections, fragrances and designs for eyewear and luggage. The designer has also opened L'Hôtel Marrakech in Morocco, in a beautiful riad that was once an 18th Century palace, at the heart of the city's Medina.

This fashion season his brilliantly-hued AW18 show was set against a cool, white background at London's Claridges Hotel. The blocks of monochromatic colour in yellow, orange, bright pink, electric blue and green had a contemporary yet dramatic flair. The colour and inspiration for the designs have painterly origins in the work of artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Howard Hodgkin. Long, pleated skirts in bright hues were teamed with sporty tops and three-quarter length coats or textured knits. Fluid gowns with cap sleeves fell gracefully to the floor in a mix of contrasting dark and vivid shades. Voluminous but form-fitting around the neck and shoulders, the flowing, long dresses had dashes of brilliantly mixed colours such as silky orange and bright pink (see above) and deep hues of cobalt and violet (see below).

A rich palette in cobalt and violet enhanced the sense
of a painterly collection.
Well-cut dresses and jackets had a spare yet graceful geometry. Navy blue outfits contrasted with ensembles in buttery yellow and others in pink, green and orange. A creamy-white short coat, knit top and skirt provided a palette-cleansing lightness and clever contrast to the luminous colours. Trainers matched the outfits and the low-slung shoes enhanced the sense of the clothes movement and freedom.

A high-necked sweater in grass-green managed to look both stylish and comfortable and made a captivating contrast to another version in daffodil yellow with a well-cut, overcoat with wide lapels flung over the top, in exactly the same sunny colour.

The collection had its sporty edge enhanced by snappy, zip-up tops, textured knits and windproof smocks. The combination of skillful use of colour and the mixture of different folds and pleats and silhouettes added to the sense that Mr. Conran is a master of his metier.

An elegantly monochromatic creation in deep indigo captures Vogue's editor at large Hamish Bowles attention in the audience along with milliner Stephen Jones.
A daffodil yellow knit and coat made for a burst of bright sunshine in the Autumn/Winter 2018 collection.
A grass green knit added to the panoply of bold colours in the collection.
A dark navy, textured knit made a bold contrast to the silky, glowing long gowns.
 Zip-up tops with hoods added to the sporty motif running through the collection.

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