Self-declared “traditional modernists” Sass & Bide lit up LFW this season with a collection of combinations. Inspired by a trip to Peru and Buenos Aires, Sass & Bide maintained their dedication to wearable art in a show of dresses, jackets, gowns and accessories that blended the masculine and the feminine. Finished with a tribal influenced, the “the strong, the obscure and the beautiful” mantra had produced something truly modern for the everyday woman.
The colour palette was angelic and clean but the decoration was textured and powerful. Although it’s a tired combination, the series of jackets, short and dresses had a fresh perspective, with the keen eye detecting the global influence in the designs. Scored leaf patterns cut out of the fabric, worn with metallic corsages and metal belts, toughened up the gentle nature of the fabric and stood alone as the abstracting pieces to open the collection. Although the decorative influence was minimal, it was the subtle nature of the designs that maintained the Sass & Bide flair to otherwise simple pieces of clothing.
The combinations continued throughout the collection, strengthening the aesthetics of the pieces. For the masculine portion, abstractly cut white sets of jackets and trousers also had the tribal treatment featuring borders of black and gold beading, both in simple and more traditional patterns, adding a flair of character to the monochrome palate and jiggered, triangular hemlines and sleeves. However, the feminine side was truly a treat for the eyes. The same white pieces were now made from soft, delicate fabrics; a light silk jacket, worn with a large, stiff golden pendant and soft black corsage next to a sequined dress with gold and cream corsages adorning the neckline, balancing out the gender contrast within the clothes.
A particularly appealing aspect of the collection was just how wearable the clothes were. Although the pieces were the result of a combination of trends, the end result produces pieces of clothes than could be separated and used to revitalise over worn combinations. The average fashionista’s wardrobe has a select few items which she’ll wear through and through but the metallic accessories and tribal themed pieces from Sass & Bide are the very pieces that will resurrected these items and stimulate a stream of new outfits, using old pieces from seasons ago.
However, it was the tribeswoman trend that dominated the evening gowns without remorse for smothering the modern contributions to the collection. Leaving the viewer with something to remember, orange and white beaded shift dresses walked alongside long black chiffon dresses clinched in with stiff metal belts and added embellishment to emphasise the traditional patterns. Additionally, feathered skirts and sequined capped shoulder pads finished the eveningwear with a touch of luxury as small tulip shaped-trains, gliding behind the wearer with regal elegance.
Perhaps what is so appealing about the Australian duo is their sound understanding of subtle power-dressing. Interestingly, the elegant suits and creative evening dresses elude both body and style consciousness but also a sense of authority. With the designers previously working with numbers themselves, this understanding for the modern woman is effortlessly eluded in the clothes. The suits with corsages, jumpers with feathers, and the black leather shorts are prime examples of the consistent combination of ideas into one design. They add something extra to make them timeless pieces which the CEO can wear and maintain respect for her style just as much as her business tactics. Now that is something truly both traditional and modern.