At Duro Olowu’s small Mayfair shop, a seasonal presentation is never just that. It’s a meditation on life, style, and design history, delivered with the designer’s wit and feather-light touch.
As models showed off his signature bright prints, knife-sharp tailoring, and classic silhouettes, Olowu talked about the power of pink, “if you find the right shade, it warms your heart and calms you down,” said the designer.
He described a short, loose printed dress as resembling “Henry the VIII’s nightshirt,” and while a model was showing off a billowing, ankle-grazing skirt, he looked on in satisfaction and said: “You can hear the cotton.”
Olowu’s distinctive style, which melds classic shapes with bright prints and intense, life-affirming color, has a cult-like following here, among women of all ages.
This season’s top looks were season-less and could suit anyone. Some of the best included a baby pink button-down shirtdress with military-style pockets, and an obi-style belt; silky Henry VIII nighdresses covered in Olowu’s signature leaf, flower and swirl patterns; and swing coats made from printed, flocked fabric.
Olowu always looks to the past to find inspiration, and this season was no exception.
He came across boxes of buttons from the 1930s — made from mother of pearl or Bakelite — and added them to slim, sharp jackets; dotted them down the side of a cotton drill skirt; or placed them at the front of one of his many luscious silk coats, adding a whole other layer to his rich narrative.