Jonathan Saunders Autumn Winter 2013: Let's Talk About Sex

17 February 2013 by

It was all about sex for Jonathan Saunders this season. Or indeed "tits and misery" as the designer himself put it after the show. He'd been thinking about David Lynch (that dirty, doom laden Twin Peaks soundtrack played off against sugary shades), Allen Jones' sculpture (a corset cut away to frame rather than contain breasts) and British 1950s pin-ups, specifically Diana Dors (prom queen dresses in Land Girl fabrics and colourways).

It was an interesting and overtly twisted mix: at times all sweetness and light, at others plain rude - sex shop cliches including more red and black and underwear as outerwear than has been seen for some time were a central part of the story.

The skewed juxtapositions didn't stop there: Saunders teamed black vinyl, say, with "the most expensive lace I've ever used" (that sex shop thing again), he appliqued heavy utilitarian wools in army colours with shiny  stylised garlands of flowers. Even colour jarred (dusty rose and ruby red, powder blue and chocolate, camel and flame).

If this designer, who has a Central Saint Martins MA in print and textiles, has been known more recently for dressing both Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama, the woman here was a less polite creature. There were perfectly pretty pieces that would cater to the more conservative dresser of course but overall there was more under-current to it than that.

"Tortured womanhood," was how Saunders summed it all up in the end happily. It's good news for woman-kind that despite the warped reference points, it looked great too.


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