Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

June 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi have got their Preen by Thornton Bregazzi thing down to a science. Sport elements, fractured pattern, an emphasis on the dressy-but-not-too-dressy dress, the color red—these are some of the boxes Thornton and Bregazzi tick off in their collections, season in and season out. Given the emphasis on commerce, Resort isn’t the season to ask for a major update. But one is starting to seem due. In the meantime, however, this collection made for a pleasant visit back to the Preen comfort zone, with a lot of appealingly breezy dresses in a fractured ikat-inspired pattern of silk dévoré, and others in an irregular dot. They also included activewear references, like zips, mesh, and the graphic line down the side of a pair of trousers. There were a couple of dubious looks—a blazer with nylon anorak sleeves, for instance—but in general Thornton and Bregazzi did yeoman’s work on the details of these clothes, and the best pieces here had a sense of surprise as a result of that. Perhaps the single most compelling look, for example, was the trenchcoat, cut long or short, with an interior halter that made it seem to be falling off the shoulders a bit and neon vinyl stripes along the cuff. There’s some kick in the old Preen codes yet, that’s for sure.
—Maya Singer
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Preen

December 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

It often feels like it’s David Bowie’s year in fashion, but 2013 will be something special with the huge retrospective opening at the Victoria and Albert Museum in March. Preen‘s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi staked an early claim to Bowie-mania with a pre-fall collection based on his 1983 vampire movie, The Hunger. It gave them a surprising amount to work with. Most immediate was an eighties New Wave edge: the dramatic color palette of night black and blood red; the graphic patterns (a poppy print, polka dots, the black-and-white leopard jacquard); the boy/girl element in, say, a quilted tartan biker with pebbled leather sleeves, or pleated, slightly pegged pants with zippered pockets. The eighties designer chic of The Hunger‘s queen vamp Catherine Deneuve was echoed in a blouse in black satin devore or a shift dress laden with swirling rococo embroidery. Thornton and Bregazzi even referenced the movie’s lighting effects with a striated texture intended to evoke light shining through blinds. “We’ve done so much print in the past that we were more interested in texture this time,” said Thornton. “We wanted something more abstract.”

But there was nothing abstract about the collection’s hard-edged sophistication. When the Preen twosome used lace, it was in an anything-but-fragile crazy-paving pattern. That same lace was tiered with silk in a skirt to create a tough-frills effect. Navy tulle was touched with a flash of fluoro citron. Bondage pants were cut from luxe silk crepe. Thornton and Bregazzi also sharpened their signature Preen hybrid, backing pebbled leather biker pants with a tailored pant, or attaching a nylon pac-a-mac front to a tailored wool rear. The star outfit might have been the matte stretch crepe halter dress with the pleated bodice and flared skirt. In the back room of their West London atelier, 12-week-old Blythe was peacefully napping, while out front, her parents were cooking up clothes to make night-stalkers wilt with desire.
—Tim Blanks
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