When Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders announced he was closing his eponymous label in December 2015, the fashion world mourned the loss of a great print master and lover of colour; these skills have been hard to come by lately, given the industry's recent predilection for minimalism. But when the announcement was made back in May that he was joining the Diane von Furstenberg team as Chief Creative Officer, suddenly it all made so much sense.
And although only a few short months have passed, so much has changed. From the show, which has gone from a fun but brash event studded with celebrities to an intimate presentation narrated by the designer himself, to the technical fabrication of the garments, now so sturdy in their tailoring but so effortless in their silhouettes, to the styling, with key pieces in perfectly clashing shades designed to be layered and mixed-and-matched.
It being DVF, all the key elements of the house were there but one gets the sense that Saunders didn't delve too deeply into the archives in a bid to refresh the brand and put his own personal stamp on it. Wrap dresses are now midi length in fine silk and splashed with nature patterns. Trousers are sharply tailored, wide-legged and high-waisted and teamed with cropped tops in either starchy cotton or sequined knit. Bomber jackets come with reversible cuffs, maxi dresses end in handkerchief hemlines and mini dresses are fashioned in butter-soft leather. But with prints and saturated hues as the underlying elements, this new partnership is a match made in fashion heaven.