Roksanda Ilincic may not share Diane von Furstenberg's icon status or Victoria Beckham's celebrity background but she has one very important thing in common with both of them; she is her own brand's best representative. When she took her bow at the end of her show, held at the Savoy's jewel box of a ballroom, she wore a dress from her new collection (long with a contrasting pointed collar) and instantly brought it to life. On the models it looked divine, on Ilincic it had purpose.
How is it that we talk so much about London designers and print and we never mention their mastery of colour? It was evident throughout the last few days and today it reached its crescendo. Clay mixed with sunset orange, mustard with yellow gold, a blue that would make Vermeer weak at the knees sat next to brick red. A personal favourite - the bright brick red shirt with orange sleeves and white cuffs, tucked into matching super wide trousers, large gold bag scrunched up by the model's side. The Dutch master would have painted her standing by an open window.
The silhouette was long and lean, letting billowy shirt sleeves and frilly tiers on dresses to provide the movement. Those contrasting collars were a great alternative to the ubiquitous Peter Pan ones - some women, after all, do not want to look like they belong at kindergarten and not the boardroom. The knee-length dresses, with their graphic panels, will sell and sell. They're great all-rounders; good for the office, the bar, the gallery. But so are other dresses and the other two female designers I mentioned earlier offer them too. What Ilincic does so brilliantly is instil a sense of uncompromising elegance in everything. For example, surprisingly, she used soft cotton for some of the later dresses but the silhouette remained as couture as the pricier fabrics. And she showed she lives and works in the here and now, not just in the world of the Yves Saint Laurent designs she avidly collects, by going along with a trend for patent leather, using it on a tiered full skirt. Need further proof? The shoes were designed in collaboration with Aldo. Here's something else she has in common with DVF and VB; a good business mind.