I Have The Power: Preen Black Dress

Hello again, Blog Reader.  I’m back in Manhattan after a fabulous weekend away in Charleston South Carolina – a beautiful city that I would recommend to anyone looking for lots of Southern charm and character.  I had some great recommendations for dining in Charleston so if you want any then drop me an email using the ‘ask me anything’ email (top right).  I have a review of the wonderful Hampden Clothing boutique coming up soon, a  must-visit on a shopping trip in the city.

Back in Gotham I’m still trying to capture the romance of Charleston but combine it with a little New York attitude.  I’ve posted this dress before and I will likely feature it again I love it so much – the power dress by Preen, perfectly sharp but still feminine for a cutting edge little black dress:

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

The strap detailing on this dress is my idea of perfection.  I love the structure, the hard and the soft (the different fabrics used) and the beautiful folds around the neckline.  A dress with powerful impact it most certainly is.  Apologies to those of you who read about the dress before but just to mention again I bought it from Liberty London department store back in the UK during a sale a good few years ago now* for a great price.  Liberty sales are amazing!  It was when I started to really buy quality over quantity and invest in pieces that would last, a philosophy that has stuck with me today.

I will certainly be watching what Preen bring us this season at the forthcoming London Fashion Week.

So, who is feeling powerful? What do you wear when you need a little power-pick-me-up?

P.S. I just noticed I got a little ‘black’ themed again Blog Reader.

Wearing: Dress by Preen; sandals from Mango; clutch from Debenhams, UK.

*Liberty no longer appear to stock Preen but you can browse styles here on Black White Denim, on Net a Porter, My Wardrobe and at discount sites such as The Outnet.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Preen Resort 2013

Graphic streaks and oversized flower prints mixed with their signature modern silhouettes; Preen resort 2013 is a wonderful mix of bold splashes of paint and sporty elements.  Having spoken of my love of Preen (yet again) on Sunday, it felt fitting to feature their recent line today.

The black dress top left, and the white shirt with Dolman-style sleeves and high-waisted flower print skirt are my favourites from this collection.  I was happy to hear the recent announcement that Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi will return to their design roots in London for fashion week this year (the duo had been showing in NYC since 2008), with Thornton quoted in WWD as saying:

“Today, London is a very different fashion week to what it once was, and it’s a great place for us to show. It feels right to be here again. It’s more of an international fashion week now.”

Attracted to and influenced by American sportswear when they first came to NYC, this current collection has a clear Olympic / athletic influence.  Cool, modern, sporty chic is seen in side-striped trousers, padded jackets and track pants.  Other inspirations for the line are the artist Jeff Koons and the photographer Nick Knight; resulting in vivid, bold splashes of paint and graphic lines that inject a delightful vibrancy into the designs.

I wrote on Sunday that there are designers who create collections I covet again and again – Preen is one of them.  I hope you like resort 2013 as much as I do, Blog Reader.

Images from Fashionising.
Visit the Preen website here.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Preen Fall 2012

Whilst the fall 2012 collection from Preen confused me somewhat (is it winter or spring? Where are the layers and coats?!) I loved the modern garden party vibe they presented.  Their poppy reds, forest green, vermilion and butterfly prints were also a welcome ray of sunshine amongst the ‘darker’ collections this season.

I do adore Preen for their decidedly grown up style - they have such lovely clean, fluid and straightforward silhouettes that appeal to me.  It’s one of the reasons I purchased their power dress and why I’d love to add more Preen to my wardrobe.  They also have a fabulous signature Britishness to their designs, taking inspiration from Victoriana (such as attention drawn to the waist), a theme continued this winter with embroidery and decorative prints.

The collection also drew from muses Virginia Woolf and Beatrix Potter, author, artist and conservationist.  Style.com said of the forthcoming line:

“For the strong women of today, Thornton and Bregazzi cut the inevitable high romance of botanical flower and butterfly prints by paneling them into dresses with sharp blocks of a very flat matte fabric they referred to as scuba wool, and generally manipulating them by printing the motifs on sequins and embroidering over them with tarnished silver beading. The effect was far from sugary. At times, it was nearly minimal—a successful dance with feminine codes. The brushstroke print mid-show that came from looking at Abstract Expressionists like Jasper Johns provided a sort of interlude.” ~ Meenal Mistry, Style.com

Despite taking inspiration from previous eras I find Preen’s designs quite futuristic in their delivery - here I adored the chunky wedge boots models wore, contrasting with the delicate femininity of the floral patterns and sheer fabrics.  I also liked the sporty touch given with the contrasting waistbands and the trouser side stripes.

It was a lovely executed collection too, with colours and themes flowing seamlessly together to mould a very coherent, cool, chic and sophisticated line overall.

So, who would like to (garden) party with me in Preen?

Images Elle.com.