Saturday, September 18, 2010

Caribbean queens: sass & bide Spring/Summer 2011

Sass & bide’s roots lie in London’s Portobello Road, the world’s largest antiques market, where designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke sold their edgy customised jeans to the city’s early fashion adopters back in 1999. Yesterday, for their third season back at London Fashion Week after a few years in the sportswear-nosed wilderness of New York Fashion Week, they returned to slightly more auspicious digs: the Royal Opera House. Entitled Papa Sucre  - French for 'sugar daddy' and possibly named after the 1995 instrumental track by Brit alt rock outfit Supergrass (but with a definite Creole undercurrent) - the collection saw a slight detour from the brand’s trademark heavy embellishment to explore the moment’s digital print trend in a monochrome palette of black, sepia and white, popped with watermelon and a hint of utilitarian khaki. 

Opened by rising star Julia Nobis, joined by two other Australians, Lauren Brown and Jessica Hart and hot American newcomer Kirby Kenny, the show featured sweet silk jumpsuits; fluid harem pants and city shorts; stripey knit sweaters and sexy bodycon microdresses, either sleeveless with embellished shoulders and cutout bustier details or else full-sleeved – the latter a kind of modern variation of the DVF wrap dress. The draped copper silk trousers could have been Balenciaga's take on the duo's best-selling Black Rats. 

The embellishment largely came in the form of addon killer accessories that were based on the central raffia motif (which even wound up on the show invitation). 

From glam rock raffia chubbies to Elizabethan raffia ruffs and even one entire raffia froufrou skirt, they also included slouchy pirate boots, loopy harness belts, silver breastplates and one spectacular copper choker whose behemoth raffia fringe looked like it had been dip-dyed in blood. It's unlikely that Middleton and Clarke will need to be working any voodoo here to charm die-hard sass & bide girls.


 all images: supplied by sass & bide


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