When it comes to showcasing a collection during lockdown, you do the best you can with what you have. But for Roksanda Ilincic, her best, is pretty damn good. She called upon her friends, Vanessa Redgrave, Jolie Richardson and Daisy Bevan to showcase her designs. If having three generations of a great British acting dynasty on speed dial isn’t impressive enough, persuading them filming to each other on their iPhones, whilst wearing your AW21 collection at home counts as a major cultural coup. Especially when the soundtrack is Redgrave reciting Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73.
The words talk of the passing of time, the loss of youth and the inevitability of death. Set against the backdrop of a pandemic it was especially moving, but Roksanda is an artful designer who tunes in to human connection and emotion with her work. She wanted this collection to “lift you up”, with joyous colour, extravagant volumes and playful grandeur. There was plenty of decorative flourish. She produced much of the artwork herself – a line drawing of a female nude adorns one floor-length white gown, whilst still life paintings inspired by memories of her grandparent’s home in Serbia were printed on scarves.
She’s softened her tailoring, and taken the sharpness and stuffiness out of it by reinventing the suit as a matching tunic top and trousers. “It’s powerful but feminine and easy to wear,” she said.
Photography courtesy of Roksanda.