London fashion Week AW11: Preen’s re-see

“We’ve been doing long for a couple of seasons now”, Preen’s Justin Thornton told me when I asked why there were no mini-mini dresses on the rails of their informal presentation at St Martins Lane Hotel. “It just feels right for us and more modern.” In place of abreviated sheaths, Preen has embraced slim trousers, calf-length pencil skirts and ‘sliced up’ collage-y pieces, experimenting with mismatching weights and proportions. “We had a long skirt and cut it away so the lining was hanging out. We thought ‘that looks cool’ and carried on like that”.

Colour-blocked peplum details work with long split pencil skirts while knit tops are stitched over silk blouse sleeves. Mannish flannel coats have sleeves heavily embellished with Indian silver beads (AW11 is clearly shaping up to be the season of the sleeve detail). “It’s important to give the pieces strength,” said Justin. “so that’s why we’ve gone for the heavy metal beads – we didn’t want it to look too pretty.”