Ports 1961 is a quiet star on the London Fashion Week schedule. Creative Director Natasa Cagalj is one of the late Louise Wilson’s protégées and serves up intriguing silhouettes and good quality fabrications that could rival Céline.
This season, the mood was about customisation - how we make our garments our own through tweaks and adjustment. The sculptural shirts with rolled hems and cuffs were a strong proposition - simple enough to appeal to the level-headed Ports woman, who likes her garments to be hardworking, but intriguing enough to raise an admiring eyebrow from others. An Italian brand at heart, the bulk of this collection nodded to tailoring, both in shape and fabrication. This works best when the masculine elements were subverted by something sweet - so a black dress with a collar and buttons and a rounded skirt was a winner.
There’s always a charming naivety to a Ports collection. Jewellery or finishes often look handmade or homespun - one thinks of family, days at the beach, hobbies, gardening, domestic craft. These additions help stop the collections from feeling chilly. This season, there were hand knitted elements and low woven shoes. There’s a lot of high drama and fantasy on the London Fashion Week schedule, Ports always offers a welcome reality check.