If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Those are the words I imagined escaped Chris Brooke and Bruno Basso’s mouths after their stellar SS10 show last September. Their previous collection saw them fuse their signature dizzyingly mind boggling digital prints with a more pared down silhouette, leaving their glorious mastery of manipulating colour and print as the main focus. The Fashion Editor’s were hooked on their new clarity of vision, and announced that that season was the tipping point for Basso & Brooke’s real ‘arrival’ onto the main-fashion-players stage. So, whizz forward in time to today and Basso & Brooke’s AW10 offerings at Somerset House (with a good Frow turnout of Shinghai Shoniwa, La Roux and Paloma Faith) followed a similar grown-up path. Ok, so the inspiration is different – this time they took a journey to the ‘ancient lands of the Silk Routes’, meaning most countries ending in ‘-istan’ have been explored for colours, prints, fabrics, architecture and craftwork. And the result? A beautiful patchwork effect digi-print in autumnal tones, highlighted with gold, featuring everything from tiger to chain, ceramic-work, wood and python. Amongst other swirling or graphic prints, these intricate patterns were then fabricated into hi-gloss silky jersey draped dresses that were flatteringly mid thigh or floor sweepingly long, silky blouson tops, clashing scarves double wrapped around necks and an occasional pair of trousers or leggings.
And this time around, the boys visually explained how to wear such bold statement pieces, rather than leaving them all as singular garments, by injecting some boyish tailoring - a camel coat or simple slim cut trousers calmed these prints down and no doubt added some commerciality to the collection. I liked the idea of layering up pieces in the same print, i.e. a jersey draped dress over matching leggings, or dressing down a busy blouse with slick mannish gabardine pants. The printed parka coat looks like it could be a fashion favourite for looking stylish on a rainy day (we’ve already noticed major parka resurgence whilst watching LFW goers). However, Chris and Bruno are so skilled at using colour energetically that some of the darker pieces in sludgy greens and browns felt uneasy and not as successful at the deeper reds, russets, purples and oranges – but there’s no doubt that come Autumn time, any printed dress of theirs will fit more than happily into our wardrobe.
- Hannah Almassi, Junior Fashion News Editor