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Inspired by the “lusty warmth of the morning after” and the bombshell glamour of 1930s screen icon Jean Harlow, Francisco Costa offered up a cool seduction of long-line slip dresses for SS16. Sometimes apron fronted, often strappy, occasionally hung with delicate Joan of Arc-style chains, they were cut low at the cleavage and fitted with loose lingerie-style pancake bras (I genuinely can’t think of another way of describing them).
Costa wanted to conjure the feeling of being between silken sheets and his loose brassieres were all part of the new erogenous zones he was exploring. “In this collection, she matters as much as he,” he explained of the masculine/feminine interplay which saw the slips layered with mannish jackets and raw-edged trench coats. “I wanted to capture that idea of getting up in the morning, throwing on his coat over your dress and running to the shop.” The slips were tactile in a palette of ivory, eggshell and pale gold. The coats were black satin cupro and suede. Together, they worked very well.
For the first time also, Costa worked with florals, great blousy prints that he had on everything, from silk viscose to leather, from rayon linings to twills. These were subtle, pretty florals, a tiny nod maybe to the silky grunge dresses that so described the early 1990s culture in which the brand enjoyed its second renaissance. Was this the beginning of a more verdant period in Costa’s design? “Why not,” he shrugged. “I’m all about being brave and trying new things. I just want to contribute something to the language of diversity.” Harlow would surely have approved.