I do get a little suspicious at the number of times that people loosely throw around statements such as "It's ART!" when talking about fashion – it has all the intentions of a compliment but to me comes off as sounding slightly hyperbolic and perhaps not what the designer him/herself desires when they are doing collections that at the end of the day need to result in commerce in order to survive.
However, when talking about Maia Norman's collections for her label Mother of Pearl, the art/fashion connection is a bit more clearcut considering that Norman is Damien Hirst's other half and can indeed call on Turner Prize-nominees for a little helping hand in her collections. Every season, she chooses a different artist to collaborate with in her collection. This season she has worked with Jim Lambie choosing his Acid Perm (2002) work and his Found Flower Painting series, which sees images of John Lennon and Grace Jones meshing with Dutch-style flower oil paintings. This of course makes for prints that any-floral lover me will fall head over heels for. Especially when rendered in a tracksuit set that I may have owned when I was seven, complaining to my mum about going to Chinese school on a Saturday and missing Live and Kicking.
Alls wells but beyond the prints, the quaffy rollcall of guests that came to the S/S 11 collection launch at Haunch of Venison (to coincide with London's FRIEZE) and the mannequins that came obscured with bouquet heads to emphasise the florals, I'm loving the freshness of the silhouettes that borrows from sportswear and streetwear elements in the best way possible. In non-printed form, Mother of Pearl turns out parkas with removable hoods and sleeves, loose onsies and shorts with racerback vests all in a luxe nappa leather in shades of navy, yellow and deep deep aubergine that give the prints a firm foundation to stand on. The leather caps are a collaboration with Justin Smith Esquire that finish off the luxe sportswear trail that I think the label can bank on.
This parka in particular is sexy leathery jelly goodness… and definitely in need of being girlified with some sort of tulle/chiffon thing coming asunder underneath…
I'm particularly loving the collection's new accessories introduction with the 'Dry Bag' which is another affirmation for me, that a backpack isn't just a seasonal gimmick for women to relive school days but an essential practical staple.
This ensemble basically sums up what I want to be looking like for a fair amount of the summer – bedecked in fruity/buttery leather and faded florals.