It takes a special kind of courage to put a swim shoe on a catwalk, and it takes a certain kind of talent to pull it off. When it comes to Jackie JS Lee, the talent part is a given. Friday’s show at the revamped, very white tent at Somerset House was abundant with eager fangirls eating up the designer’s candyfloss pink dresses and sleek aquamarine tailoring. With her stripped-down, clean-cut reduction, Lee has penetrated the hearts of the minimalist-crazed consumers of the early 2010s, but added a girly girl element to it all, which makes her work all the more inclusive.
For spring/summer 2014, Lee took her devotees ‘on a journey through the London Aquarium’ and more specifically its jellyfish, whose movements had inspired the fluidity of her fabrics and the shapes of pieces, some of which were fitted on the front and loose at the back. For a collection which employed a more-than-a-little-popular motif in fashion, the jellyfish take on things actually wasn’t bad at all, even if the underwater journey continued with scaly textures, wet-look check, and a soundtrack that could easily have been produced by ninties New Age breeze masters Enigma. It was a refreshing experience indeed, not necessarily in the groundbreaking sense of the word, but certainly in the literal. From the excellent styling – pretty and delicate but strict and precise – to the intelligent use of materials and great cutting, Lee gave her following the stuff of which their dreams were made. And if the courage stopped at the swim shoes, at least it went out with a bang.