Sass & Bide is usually known for its bold colour palette and eye-catching embellishment, but this season, designers Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton embraced a fresh simplicity in their ‘Loveshady’ collection.
For spring/summer 2013, the design duo presented a notably more pared-back collection. Heidi Middleton described their design process as “traditional modernist”, and this new stripped back approach allowed the designers to explore different shapes and cuts. There was an almost Art Deco feel to the collection’s geometric lines and simple shapes. A particular highlight for me was the careful contrasting of masculine and feminine throughout the collection: monochrome masculine tailoring was balanced by floaty chiffon, origami-esque rosettes and pailettes.
The collection’s stark whites gave sharp pleats, origami detailing and cutaway lapels an almost clinical crispness. Military-style embroidery detailing, metallic accents and a subtle injection of neon orange stood out against black and white. In a move away from the almost hippy aesthetic of previous seasons, embellishments were used sparingly and precisely on edging or adorning rigid grid patterns – adding to the designs, for example following the curves of cleverly cut dresses, rather than overwhelming them.
Overall, the collection had a more restrained feel and seemed a lot more grown-up. I liked what I saw. Sass & Bide was my first show this London Fashion Week – and first ever fashion show – and it certainly lived up to my expectations. After their recent cash injection, Sass & Bide are firmly focused on expansion into the northern hemisphere. With 20 shops already in their native Australia and plans for a New York flagship in March 2013 the future is bright.
p.s. Sass & Bide showed their SS13 collection at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria – a beautifully light venue with stunning high ceilings!