Mother of Pearl sounds like too prim a name for a label that in the past two seasons has solidly been fusing fashion and technical sportswear into a potent combination that makes the side of my style, that wants to kick back in trainers and a giant maxi skirt, break through and hanker after pretty much the entire collection.  I'm guessing it's a reference to the iridescent layer in the shells that designer Maia Norman will be familiar with, as a hardcore surfer from Orange County, who has been chasing waves all over the world (the label started as a beachwear line which has thankfully undergone much transformation).

Still, the precision that courses through this new A/W 11-12 collection is anything but iridescent or whimsical.  It hits the spot bang on between minimalism and maximalism, where strong, defined felt-tip lines mark the silhouettes and bold colours are used to fill in the spaces, meaning that without a lot of fuss you get maximum visual effect.  The collection continues to be strong when it comes to doling out buttery, bright and bold leather pieces with the hooded parkas re-emerging with matching takes on the sou-wester hats where the back of the hat is super-elongated. 

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The attitude of this precise long shirt dress with colour blocked trainers sums up the way you'd want to wear these clothes.  It almost seems like the easy option to wear a big fuck-off pair of heels but the real luxury is to embrace the indulgent casual spirit of these clothes and go with the flow (not to sound like I'm quoting my imagined version of Orange County hippies…) and really kick back and revel in the possibility of looking utterly sleek whilst having your feet firmly on the ground. 

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It goes without saying that thick grey double-faced jersey in any form will make me happy but in the shape of these jogging bottoms, a body that resembles a sweatshirt and a dress that comes with an oxblood leather skirt… ah… just reading all of that makes me happy.  Can't think what I'd do if I actually got to wear any of them… 

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Using grey to balance out with the prints and brights of the collection is also effective in this wool felt ensemble that comes with a trapper hat that comes with a touch of the silly in the candy pink shearling lining – only a touch though…

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Maia Norman continues to work with artists on a set of prints that permeate the collection and this time, she's worked with Keith Tyson, the British artist whose work is concerned with the physics of things, both philosophical and scientific.  It's good to see though that the prints don't overtake a collection which could very well be interpreted as fashion/art fusion for collaboration's sake.  Rather the prints are there to complement the other strongholds of a collection that stand up to being great pieces in their own right rather than relying on an artist's name to pull the collection through. 

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I love the effect of this print of one of Tyson's drawings collaged together here in this shirt and tracksuit bottom outfit…

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I love this print which consists of skies painted/photographed in different years…

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A collaboration with Pierre Hardy sees this collection augmented with two pairs of trainers featuring the Keith Tyson prints as well as a pair of colour-blocked wedges for those that are really anti-kicks…

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A close-up of those sou-wester hats…

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Mother of Pearl have also just popped-up with a temporary shop at The Other Criteria (36 New Bond Street, London) which will be there until 11th May selling the S/S 11 collection featuring the Jim Lambie floral prints…

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"Wow I really like your… floral printed bod…" is what I imagine this guy is thinking…

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I didn't check the price of this particular yellow leather parka but I'll have to go back and investigate.  I'm anticipate arm-and-a-leg pricing but for this amount of buttery leather in the perfect shade of yellow…  I'm just thinking of the fun renditions of Singing in the Rain I could do… (I have a fascination with seeing watermarks disappear from leather…)

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Comments (31)

  1. fashionstyle says:

    I love the first dress !!!

  2. Goodness, I quite like the prim name! And those quilted shorts are gorgeous!
    x
    http://www.lostinthehaze.com

  3. f says:

    I love the printed pieces and those color block wedges are fantastic!
    xoxo
    http://fashionagony.blogspot.com/

  4. Dawn says:

    my eyes were drawn to the sneakers and chunky heels immediately– so bold and gorg.
    there’s so much character associated with the jacket with years and skies, love.
    i like this laid back but lively vibe from this collection

  5. amalie says:

    i don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this collection that I LOVE.
    xx

  6. Chuck says:

    Oh, I’d only seen the printed pieces but the rest is gorgeous. Love the plain/sporty stuff. Definitely think you should get a souwester!

  7. january says:

    i need every single shoe in every single one of these photos!!
    january, x
    jessicajanuary.com

  8. Nicole says:

    I love your blog, how gorgeous!
    XOXO Nicole, VPV Team Member
    Check us out & follow @ http://www.vantagepointvintage.com/blog/

  9. rachael says:

    I really love this line…very different, modern and pretty!
    http://www.rachaeldiab.blogspot.com

  10. woooowww, is amazing

  11. michelle says:

    amazing i want those hoodies
    come visit my “floral” themed contest @
    http://pinklemonincrystal.blogspot.com

  12. Petra says:

    Wow! This is a truly amazing collection.

  13. taxi Toronto says:

    cool outfit with t-shirt with big heart;)
    cute ears:D

  14. Sarah says:

    I love the colours and the androdynous cut. Stunning blog as well.

  15. Anna says:

    I love the leather jackets with hoods!
    http://www.ThisIsAYes.com

  16. samantha rae says:

    just stumbled across your blog and i’m so glad i did! it’s incredible! love! <3
    following you!

  17. C says:

    I neeeeeeed to know how much those rain hats are! Because there’s no way I could afford the whole coat…

  18. I love this collection. The quilting, the jersey, the prints, the colour block. It is design led but also so wearable, just what I need.

  19. Olive says:

    I love all the shoes!

  20. amazing collection !
    xx

  21. am getting palpitations from those color block wedges. oh my. thanks susie.

  22. Pajama Jeans says:

    Thanks for your post. I wonder how many people consider Norman’s designs as “spot between minimalism and maximalism?”

  23. Shelley says:

    That grey fleece top and oxblood leather skirt would be what I would choose if I could only wear one outfit for the rest of my life (with the long grey fleece dress as the winter option). Those are two of the most perfect pieces of clothing I’ve ever seen.

  24. fuschia says:

    That parka in the orange with the jogging bottoms is killing me, oh my goooooodness.

  25. Cathy says:

    LOve the long dress very much, thanks for the amazing work~!

  26. heart, heart, heart this collection! especially that shirt with a huge heart print and the the hoodies! such pieces that one could pull off everyday without looking so overdressed :)

  27. LUSHGAZINE says:

    love that white shirt!

  28. marie says:

    can’t say much else for DROOLLOOVVVE! loving the weather/sweats and the hat! x

  29. marie says:

    I meant leather/sweats and wet weather hat.. :s

  30. Wow ! i love this blog really awesome collections buddy

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