Today, the personal shopping orders dropped. This meant that a whole army of fashion editors were wearing Jonathan Saunders – and in particular, his spring / summer knitwear in all its rainbow-hued glory.
It says a lot about Saunders and his clothes that so many fashion insiders wear him. He isn’t simply the kind of designer whose show you coo over, his is the stuff you want to own. Perhaps that’s why everyone seems to care so very much that he succeeds. Of all the designers showing in London this week, it is probably Saunders who enjoys the most personal connection with his audience.
And needless to say, with all the love in the room, the pressure was on. How would he trump last season’s hot selling well-bred lady look? To what new heights would he take those prints? Would he even use print now that London has become the epi-centre of the digital print universe?
The big change was in the silhouette – strict, lean tailoring with equestrian overtones and natty menswear details, like high-necked double-breasted jackets, buttoned-up shirts and cravattes. These soon segued into dresses, but not of the full-skirted, slightly deranged Mad Men ladies of last season; they were cut straighter and often clasped at the waist with a curved belt.
The genius, as ever, was in the colour – this is always the starting point for Saunders and, boy, he didn’t disappoint: brown, he said backstage, was the shade he’d fallen in love with. That might sound rather unpromising until you see it worn with a crescendo of greens and a scorching spectrum of reds and oranges. And what of the print? Apart from the beautiful Japanese bloom, rendered on high-necked, long-sleeved flippy-skirt dresses - and then picked out on the daintiest of embroideries - it was all about texture. ‘I have never used so many textures in my life,’ he said of the kaleidoscopic jacquards and wools.
And with that, he had neatly figured out, and brilliantly executed, how to move the Saunders woman on while, of course, keeping the faithfuls happy. Those personal shopping orders will be full to capacity.