Thursday, May 28, 2009

"The peacock preened itself on the lawn..."

About a year and 3/4 ago, I discovered Preen. There is a great chance you haven't heard of it - Despite it's 10 year age and general awesomeness, it hasn't quite knocked on haute couture's door (and subsequently, hasn't become a common name)...until recently.
Specifically, I really, really like their take on 'clothing cut outs'. So many designers do it wrong in my opinion; slashing what looks like a lion attack into a shirt or tearing holes where one sh
ouldn't be exposing skin. Preen more often than not uses a light sheer material (I'm full-out guessing a marquisette kind of fabric?) to underlay the feminine cuts into the dress, adding just a touch of softness and mystery to an otherwise, sexual piece. Though the raunchy-line is brushed up against from time to time, they focus on emphasizing silhouettes rather than showing cleav and badonkadonk. [I will soon post pictures of what I'm talking about, they really, really do it well!] The designers are Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi; they both (I'm pretty sure both) hail from Great Britain and it's only been in the last two years that they've touched the western continents. I find it bewildering that these two started their design resume by, in a way, 'recycling' clothing; they made an effort to reconstruct and deconstruct old and new garments in their early years. As much as I find this rather wonderful, it's neat to see how they've grown over the past decade and come to own and manage gaggles of stores internationally. I have to say, there has always been something that I have just adored about the name. I love the definitions I've found and as a result, how much more wicked the name gets...

(of animals, esp. birds) to trim or dress (feathers) with the beak or tongue: The peacock preened itself on the lawn.
b) to dress (oneself) carefully or smartly; primp: The king preened himself in his elaborate ceremonial robes.
c) to take pride or satisfaction in oneself; gloat: He preened himself on having been graduated with honors.

From the clean lines and classic styles they create, Bregazzi and Thornton -who are a real-life couple! aw!- keep chic up-to-date. What I mean by that is, they manage to never let blacks, whites, creams, and beiges get old or matronly. Progressively getting more and more sophisticated, there is always a stunning and ageless look that repeatedly saves each piece from, in my opinion, ever going out of date! As much as I love colour blocking and having an exciting palette in my closet, my ultimate love and trust belongs to the neutrals. They are always safe -not boring!- safe and classy: that's my favourite part, the class. Wearing fitted, high waisted, black pencil skirts paired with cream or white blouses tucked in 'just-so', is what unconsciously but, automatically pops into my head when considering prestige. I can't help it! It's smart.
These two are way cool and spend literally 24/7 with each other: planning, designing, negotiating and claim to never fight. I think that is beyond the coolest thing. Being able to work sanely with the love of your life? Awesome. (Sidenote: I'll quickly mention that during New York Fashion week, Justin shipped out to NYC to cover them for the first time overseas last year whilst Thea stayed on the homestead to have their baby! That's hardcore. Best part for me is that he is quoted saying - "It's such a strange feeling to know this will be the first show ever without Thea there on that day."= blissfully gliding over the fact he isn't going to be present for the birth of his first child and that it's apparently more significant for him to be alone at a fashion show! Hilarious.) Last year, they also launched "Preen Line", an extension of their title narrowing in on their more rock-chic looks....I'm nottt as big of a fan, but they seem really excited about it! So, I'll refrain from further judgment until the next collection! I love that with the flagship collection, I am drawn to the line's neutral colours and femine angles, but always end up falling in love with one of their surprise pieces; This year for me it is their cut-out, kind-of persimmon orange, token dress here and have always loved their sweetheart rose sundress that dates back to Spring 2006. Always full of surprises Thea and Justin, sneaky rascals.

At some point, I'll definitely be highlighting their menswear line, cause it's sickkkk.

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