Jasper Conran Spring/Summer 2014: of songs of innocence and of experience

For a considerable number of seasons, British designer Jasper Conran chose to show his women’s wear collections in the main presentation space and as part of the official calendar of London Fashion Week. However, the decision to unveil the label’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection in a unique and distinctive venue far from the hectic halls and corridors of Somerset House allowed a richer display of Jasper Conran’s creative potential and influence.

By opting for the Saatchi Gallery on the King’s Road as the venue to display his latest creations, Conran resorted to the empty white walls of three rooms as blank canvases where his sartorial ingenuity found the ideal physical loci. Against the black and white artwork created by Irish artist Oisin Byrne to embellish the walls and floors of the galleries with hypnotic reinterpretations of gothic architecture, sculpture and interiors of churches and aristocratic homes, Conran’s collection explored delicate shapes, fabrics and colours that celebrated femininity in its traditional depictions of innocence and youth.

In a colour palette that mirrored the enveloping physical space, the collection’s garments featured cool and off whites that contrasted with stark navy, earthy browns and hand-blocked geometric prints, or framed pale shades of yellow, pink green and blue. Rich fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk organza, silk georgette and tulle were worked in plain, pleated or layered versions in conventionally feminine shapes, which included a large array of full skirts, pencil skirts, tops and dresses with cotton Peter Pan collars, full-length column dresses, kaftans, tailored shorts, cotton coats, trouser suits, knitwear, summery pleat front dresses, bustier dresses and princess line dresses. In some cases, garments were embellished with highly accomplished beading work on white tulle, appliqué fabric flowers, wirework leaves and delicate lace that only reaffirmed the conceptual regenerative dimensions of feminine innocence and confirmed Jasper Conran’s creative potential and accomplished sartorial experience.