Roksanda has become one of the most anticipated shows on the London schedule thanks to her knack for curating compelling, evocative performances, as well as a penchant for joy-filled clothes that celebrate women and capture a moment in time.
So, what better stage to set the scene than within the grounds of her favorite location, at The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed this year by Sumayya Vally, the youngest ever architect to curate the space at 30 years old. Rendered from upcycled materials such as cork, timber, and steel, the structure’s pink and brown tones and curvilinear lines mimic London’s architecture and shifting light.
As the audience took to their seats, the sun cast an ethereal glow over its monastic silhouette, shadows dancing around its walls as if hinting at things to come.
Titled “Women in Motion,” the collection came alive via interpretive dance, choreographed by the designer’s friend Holly Blakely. In its entirety, the line-up features over 40 pieces; however, the designer chose to showcase just 16 looks today, using the power of performance to tell her story. Like many designers this season, that story came based around the vast array of emotions experienced throughout the last 18 months, encapsulating the idea of change into a piece that saw dancers meander through the pavilion’s cloisters; sometimes climbing, crawling or cocooning together – and – at one point – collapsing from a high plinth into each other’s arms.
But it wasn’t just the dancers that moved; Roksanda’s sweeping silhouettes bellowed in the breeze, balloon-like silhouettes dancing in supple silks.
New for the season, bonded fabrics and structured seams, appearing to defy gravity, helter-skeltering around the torso, mimicking the fluid yet structured forms of their surroundings.
As always, art is central to Rokanda’s theme; this season, her expressionist hand-painted prints and joyous squiggle illustrations came elevated with typography, referencing extracts from Joan Didion’s essays. But, of course, one couldn’t talk about a Roksanda show commenting on the colour, of which, Roksanda is renowned. This season, the designer was clear in setting out her intentions for a brighter future via her vibrantly packed palette. An opening look of a piercing yellow cape met its match with a tangerine roll neck, while deep, rich purples and highlighter pinks came wonderfully clashed against acidic green or turquoise.
Roksanda’s eye for color goes beyond all realms of convention yet somehow ticks the box each time.
However, the more subdued tones oozed elegance in this collection; the relaxed tailoring, in particular, was a delight – some looks were offered in softly patched and pieced stripes in dusty warm neutrals, others in the softest of silk brushed in barely-there pinks or seafoam blue.
A powerful, poignant show from one of London’s brightest stars.