ELLE talks to Preen's Thea Bregazzi

Talks us through the resort 2014 collection


This morning at London's Connaught Hotel Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, the husband and wife design duo behind Preen, unveiled their resort 2014 collection. We were on hand to see the pretty printed dresses and colourful tailoring for ourselves (read:start an extensive shopping list) and talk to Thea about why this is their dream festival wardrobe.

Tell us about the collection.
We’re really feeling pink at the moment; it’s a really optimistic colour. I don’t know whether that’s because we’ve got two daughters and they’re brainwashing us, but that was our starting point. When it comes to resort we’re always listening to our customers and when we’re designing we’re always thinking of our friends and what they want from a wardrobe.

A lot of our friends are in the music business or they’re filmmakers and now we’re a bit older they’re CEOs of companies and they’re all freaking out about what to wear to festivals. They were going to Coachella, they might have a meeting at the same time and then coincide it with a mini break so we were thinking of their wardrobe for that really.

So what will they be wearing?
The festivals are so much more glamorous than they were and everyone’s wearing designers rather than just rocking up in wellies and a denim cut-off skirt. So we’ve got a long devoree dress which you can wear with flip-flops on holiday or with trainers to a festival and then with high heels for a party. Then we’ve got luxury sweatshirts, a silk shirt you could wear to a meeting and then go out in it, a wrap dress that’s more couture-like, more dressed up. We wanted everything to be a bit folky but not hippy so we’ve engineered some florals and then made them technicolour and put lines of colour through them. The idea is that you can wear everything with flats and wear it anywhere, pack it in your suitcase and go.

And there’s swimwear too...
We did it a few seasons ago in New York but it was more for the catwalk, it would have been a bit of a nightmare to wear in real life. But these are cool, simple shapes, a string bikini and a classic one piece.

Have you been to Coachella?
I’ve never been. I can’t think what it coincides with but there’s always a reason why we can’t go. We should definitely go - it looks so amazing, so sunny. But hopefully some of our clothes will make it there.

Is designing resort quite liberating?
There is less pressure. We just think about what people want to wear whereas with the mainline we think more about what’s new and exciting. We should probably think about what people want to buy all the time I suppose! We take quite a lot of shapes that we’ve worked on in previous seasons that have been popular and just put a print on it and it’s probably much more sellable than what we put down the catwalk.

Do you prefer designing the mainline or resort collections?
I think I enjoy both for different reasons. Obviously the mainline collection is a bit more torturous because you’re really trying to do something new, you want it to be really good and there’s more pressure. Resort is more fun but the mainline is more satisfying.

How do you cope with designing so many collections in a year?
I’m not sure! It seems to be getting busier and busier. I thought we were really busy before we did resort and pre-fall but I don’t know what we were doing. Sitting, just thinking. We used to procrastinate and debate a lot about colour or what particular shade of pink we’d use but now it’s right, ok let’s do it, bam. It’s made us much more efficient. That and having kids because you have no time.

What else are you working on?
We’re about to launch childrenswear for girls aged 6 months to 5 years. We’re soft launching it in Paris in the next few weeks so we’re making the samples right now. (She shows us pictures of a cobalt blue coat and white floral printed dress on her phone. They’re seriously beautiful. We’re pretty excited.) We’re going to do simple shapes and scale down the print. We haven’t got any stockists yet so we’ll be selling it in Preen and hopefully we’ll be launching our website very soon so it will be available on there.

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