Behold the new new look: individuality. The idea is to dress with confidence, to feel good, to treat yourself. It’s a considered approach to fashion, a layering of chic, artful colours and strong silhouettes, including everything from blazers and soft trench coats to knits and lounging silks; a moment to embrace a sense of freedom – because, yes, the idea of escaping right now is seriously appealing.
OROTON’s Sophie Holt is talking us through her love of Cognac, an interesting chocolate-caramel shade that is important to the Spring collection, it is the Creative Director’s favourite new neutral: “We usually start by designing each collection with a lot of debate around our base colour. Will it be a warm neutral? How will it tie in with previous seasons and new collections moving forward? How will it make you feel?” Holt’s palette serves as a kind of springboard for her designs. “We spend a great deal of time considering the nuances and the coordination of colour and shape, we ‘pre-outfit’ the entire collection to ensure everything works together and that in turn means we arrive at a really concise and considered vision from one season through to the next.”
For Spring, that translates into a joyous, and deliciously-themed colour scheme that includes shades of Maple, Turmeric, Pancake, Lemon Butter and Vanilla Bean. Add to that, special textures such as lace and crochet frills, an Italian picnic check as well as architectural bags and statement jewels, and you get the picture. It’s an unexpected combination yet it works. So how to wear it? Here, a few pointers on layering with confidence.
On the art of layering:
If ever there was a time to dress with personality in mind it’s now, Holt explains: “Start with a neutral base – our palette and our Italian check prints compliment each other, and there is a sense of freedom that comes from knowing that, so I think it’s about really considering what makes you feel good and pushing the idea.” Here, individuality is key – OROTON’s Spring runway show is the perfect reference point when it comes to styling your look: try silk pyjama dressing by day, embrace the Daisy print from head to toe, and why not wear a dress over pants?
On dressing to feel good, and styling with confidence in mind:
“We always focus on how hard-working each piece will be,” Holt says. “I recommend building your look around structure, whether that’s a tailored blazer or a trench coat – and then adding in an element of softness or interest.” From there, the Creative Director lists the man-style cotton poplin shirt in Lagoon Blue as a wonderful accent piece, which can be worn unbuttoned with a tank top, alternatively Holt suggests throwing a blazer over your shoulders, it’s a wonderful layering piece that works with floating dresses, pants or suiting.
On redefining the workday uniform:
“In my mind it’s all about balancing polish and ease, but I love the idea that there must also be a feeling of specialness,” Holt says. “We all now wear the same clothes to work as we do at the weekend or out to dinner, it’s about choosing considered pieces that feel put-together, polished and have a certain ease – with a unique textural element, a point of difference.” She cites the house’s fresh take on the basic white blouse as the perfect example. Here, art plays a central role, via white lace, a removable collar, a quilted yoke or a frill down the front.
On redefining the workday uniform:
Holt says, “Positivity, I think you can’t underestimate positivity. More than ever, colour and print is inspiring us, and I do love it when the collection starts to come together and you can feel the collective energy in the studio. I think it's so important to work with a likeminded team, to move forward with a clear vision. I’m fortunate to be surrounded with wonderful creatives, all focused on achieving the same goal. There’s a classicism to our collections, it’s always very considered, so when all that hard work aligns, and when you see that sense of confidence come through, it pushes us forward.”