To show her womenswear collection for Spring/Summer 2013, British designer Nicole Farhi opted once again for the Art Deco surroundings of the Headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London’s Portland Place, wher two months ago she showed the menswear collection for the same season. With its seductive stone and wood details highlighted by faded brass and frosted glass, the interior of the building served as a very adroit scenario to a collection that inquisitively looked to the concept of layering strata to engender a stunning range of demure and yet highly elegant range of garments.
Inspired by Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of the marble quarries of Carrara, and by Tuscany’s light and its air that turns grey with marble dust, the collection resorted to a palette of chalk white, slate grey, almond honey, and flax yellow. Linear and sharp sequined embroideries applied in rigid vertical and horizontal layers mirrored the veins of blocks of marble, and pleating of varying scales and fabrics in shadowy tones and broken-up prints evoked the tiers of the quarry’s exposed walls.
Fabrics were dry and textured, occasionally tightly woven and with a crinkled, papery feel. Fine-pleated cotton and translucent organza were juxtaposed against light-weight silk nylons, and strips of soft leather provided a balance to sheer fabrics. The accessories range also followed the theme of the collection, with sunglasses with wood finishing, heavy wedges, and belts in tones of chalk and dusty mauve grey.