Victoriana. Mary Anning and a conchologist’s cabinet of curiosities. Pearls, coral, seashells and jewels found scattered across the wild English shoreline and recorded in exquisite detail. Forgotten treasures: a trousseau of delicate découpage dresses featuring white ribbon work, mother-of pearl sequins, precious silver jacquard silks, scalloped broderie anglaise, and trailing wildflowers and ferns. A pioneering traveller’s passion for natural beauty and the bringing home of images of landscapes rich with exotic blossom and birds. Japanese screens.
A turn-of-the-Twentieth Century silhouette is executed with a collector’s eye and obsession for rare detail and fine craftsmanship: Victorian puffed sleeves are deconstructed with seams and canvases exposed, tailoring, high necklines and corseted waists appear throughout.
Soft foulard leather trompe l’oeil jackets are layered over featherweight knitted mesh dresses or motorcross trousers. Plongé leather coats, jackets and draped, ruffled dresses are edged with graphic broderie anglaise embroidery. Signature tailoring, cut in wool silk and at times traced with scalloped lace, has a neat, square or deconstructed draped shoulder with split sleeve details and is worn with silk tulle peplum blouses and kickback tuxedo trousers. A hybrid coat bonds classic wool silk tailoring to trench gabardine. More jackets in tonal silk shell jacquards are pieced and patched and finished with jet fern embroideries.
Softly draped cotton poplin dresses with broderie anglaise panelling and trims are screen printed with forget-me-nots and cornflowers using hand-engraved cylinders. Black leather corsets harness cotton shirtwaisters with ruffled hems in patchworked florals. Cashmere cable knit sweaters, slashed and interwoven with silver metal chains, are layered over wayside flower mini dresses. Graphic midi dresses comprise tiers of floral prints and pure white cotton guipure lace and are cinched with peplum belts. Fine knitted dresses have laddered Lurex hems.
Trench coats in a découpage of tonal black silk taffeta jacquards, scattered with seashells and coral, have draped shell sleeves. Abstracted tailored frock coats and jackets in wool silk are panelled with lace, silk taffeta jacquards, point d’esprit tulle and jet fern and rose embroideries. Pieced and patched ribbon work cotton tulle embroidered dresses with ruffle details trace the curves of the body. Embroidered ankle-length dresses feature silver diamanté wave embroidery on organza ruffles. Translucent sequin wave dresses with tiered, ruffled skirts are reminiscent of underwater mother-of-pearl and oyster shells.
Lace gowns with scalloped necklines are waisted with leather corset belts. Evening dresses are hand- embroidered with blossom, birds and landscapes evocative of far away lands. Venus goddess corsets and more evening dresses in undulating hand-cut oyster ruffles or washed organza echo the forms of seashells: scenes of shipwreck; treasure washed ashore.