#SuzyLFW: Jonathan Saunders – Awash with Colour
Everything about the Jonathan Saunders show suggested that the designer, furnished with new investment, was letting the sun shine in.
First there was the presentation: in a transparent tent under the blue, early autumn sky, the colour combinations and fabric collages glowed.
"My love for textiles is supposed to be about an effortless mix of print and colour - and strong multicultural references," said the designer, explaining that his idea to add tribal touches was "emotional and sensual".These comments from Saunders sounded theatrical, before the sun glinted on hot oranges and corals set in graphic patchworks, with colour blocks and thick or thin diagonal stripes.
The bold colours and patterns, however, seemed far from the hippie influences floating around current fashion. There was a freshness to the varied shades and something graphic in the DNA of Sauders's designs that prevented the look from turning into costume. Simple bias-cut dresses flowing over the body softened the graphics.
The effect of so many colours, if never gaudy, was still very striking. I counted five shades - grass green, orange, russet, a gold floral pattern and Papal purple - on one single outfit. Other garments hinted at different cultures such as Japan and Arabia. Yet taken out of the context of other perambulating colours and prints, each outfit seemed pleasing in proportion. To put it more simply: these were clothes to be worn in the real world.
British fashion designers have been awash with print ever since the digital age brought new methods and enhanced reality in colour. By the time all that reached high street stores, it seemed as though the trend would soon be over.
But Jonathan Saunders appears to be a survivor: a skilled designer who can still find new ways to express himself - as in this fine show.