Last year Jayson Brunsdon celebrated his 10th anniversary with an elegant, eveningwear-focused collection that nodded in the direction of the 1950s.
I still remember the lovely jacquard opera coats, and this year the designer revisited that fabric, but in more of a daywear format (notwithstanding the run of extravagant evening gowns that closed the show).
Brunsdon visits Rio de Janeiro every year and this season he was particularly inspired by that vibrant city’s sexy, party-mad culture.
“I wanted to express the vitality and sexual energy of this amazing city,” he wrote in his show notes.
“I wanted to embrace the funky favella flavour, the juicy colours, the sensuality of bronzed skin, the rich green of the palms, the freshness of the turquoise water.”
That aspiration came through clearly in the colour palette, which opened with deep greens, olive, plum, bronze and rich chocolate before transitioning into brighter hues of bold blue, lime, hot pink and tangerine.
The looks so far at fashion week have been quite minimal, with not much in the way of surface decoration or embellishment.
Not so at Jayson Brunsdon, where there was a rich, textural mix not only of colour but also fabric.
Those palm-print jacquards were the star of the show but the designer also used shimmering metallics, sequinned fringing, breezy cotton silk and paillette mesh across dresses, skirts and shorts (not the teeny-tiny microshorts that seem to have become de rigeur of late, mind you, but shorts with enough movement to actually look both comfortable and flattering.)
“Ultimately this collection is a discussion about glamour,” Brunsdon says.
“We don’t live in an elegant era. We live in a clashing, cutting loose time where anything goes.
What is glamorous now? What is chic? What is trashy?”
While these party-friendly frocks, with their asymmetrical necklines, ruffles, frills and Carioca vibe may not necessarily fall into line with Brunsdon’s traditional idea of elegance – this is a man, remember, who has always cited Audrey Hepburn as his major muse – they undoubtedly capture the sense of fun and irreverence that he says he was aiming for.