Every collection that I create encapsulates within it the essence of a journey, whether real or metaphorical, of so many things to be discovered or to bring to life again, reinterpreting them through the designs of the prints, the embroideries and the choice of colours.
The autumn-Winter 2014/15 collection was spawned by my last trip to London where, as always, times and places fused lovingly with my emotional creativity.
It’s a beautiful Sunday in late October and I start walking … My Stroll begins in Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens. The almost magical majesty of the amazing Victorian greenhouses immediately enters my heart; the Palm House is perhaps the most beautiful greenhouse in the world, a sublime and pioneering architectural in glass and iron. Magnificent trees stretch out towards the horizon, with the light playing as it is filtered through the branches, and the shadows of their lush foliage set of against the stunning greenhouses. The rustling od the leaves begins to whisper a new fairy tale. The architecture melds with nature, generating colour ways where browns are declined on the scale of green and grey shades into blue. Suddenly the new Save The Queen! Collection begins to take shape. Immediately everything is impulsively transferred into my new designs. I observe the tireless labour of the ants as they conscientiously prepare to face the winter; I transform them into embroideries.
I emerge from this enchanted world and continue my walk, taking in Portobello Road and then Spitalfields Market and finally Brick Lane. Surrounded by a multitude of little vintage shops, I rummage my way through an intriguing and multifaceted past made up of clothing, accessories, record sleeves and a though other curiosities that take shape within me in the form of pieces of a puzzle … which from ‘past’ morphs into ‘forthcoming’. Once again I feel the emotion that overcame me on my first visit to London when I had just turned adolescent : it was 1963 when Mary Quant hit the headlines with her miniskirt, launched from the boutique in the King’s Road, while the designer Biba opened the first boutique with pop music and colours in Chelsea. The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me was released in the same year, and the Rolling Stones set off on their first world tour. The names and the districts have changed, but not the energy, the sprit, the creativity and the stimuli and the freedom of the expression that this city can still transmit to me today.
This is the key for interpreting the new Autumn/Winter 2014/15 Save The Queen! collection, which becomes more eclectic and perhaps even more contempory than those of previous seasons. Every single garment has the strength and the contents to star on its own. Everything can go with everything. I speculate on a collection without limits, unbridled, that can be worn playing on freedom, just as happened in the 60s when we dressed following our own instincts without the dictates of the designers, when, on the contrary, style was born freely on the street. My skirts are min, or ankle-length, the black t-shirt of punk inspiration coexists sublimely in this collection with the Victorian Blouse in white poplin and black lace.
The dresses, both sheaths and full-skirted, are worn with jackets in both fabric and jersey, or with gutsy and feminine leather blousons or directly underneath sheepskins and brightly-coloured fake furs. The wide offer of knitwear brings together hand-knits and sweaters in precious merino wool dyed in water to produce shaded effects and jacquard designs. Messages of friendship, love and respect for nature and all its elements, including water, become the stars of prints and embroideries. Overcoats come in the shape of frock-coats or trench coats, studded with buttons and ankle-length: jackets are linear or almost circus-style..
A collection that doesn’t suggest or till less imposed matchings, while offering the chance of coming up with numerous combinations in such a way that the strong personality of the brand is mediated and interpreted in the utmost freedom through the persona of the wearer.