London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009 will be held from September 14-19, 2008, and possibly the oddest fashion show to see there is Allegra Hicks. Allegra Hicks first showed at London Fashion Week in 2005, but her background is interior design and textile design, and it shows in her architecturally-influenced fashion. She’s a lifestyle brand more than anything (it’s like if Martha Stewart suddenly started showing at New York Fashion Week, and that’s not a comparison I’m making lightly – their palettes are virtually identical), so in some ways she doesn’t fit in at all, but in other ways her outsider status makes for a visually pleasing and wearable, if tame, collection.
Hicks’ regular collection has the appearance of a resort collection, featuring a large number of caftans mixed in with short, flirty sundresses , a bikini or two and some very posh shorts sets. These items featured tropical-influenced prints in black and white, teal and white, brown and cream, and my favorite, pink and brown, a timelessly retro-chic color scheme that reminds me of bonbons, Henri Bendel and a lot of the other ladylike good things in life. Her caftans are perfect for lounging around in if you’re lucky enough to get invited to Jade Jagger’s place in Ibiza, but they’re even better if your summer destination is the municipal pool, because with a pair of big black sunglasses they’ll make you look like a movie star.
Hicks’ collection is clean, modern and graphic, but it definitely gives off an ice princess vibe. I wouldn’t say there’s anything sexy about it, and it skews older to me – young girls would look fine in it, but it seems made for the elegant woman “of a certain age” who never gets her hands dirty because she has staff to deal with the messy stuff for her. According to the London Fashion Week website, Ms. Hicks says that her new collection was inspired by Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, and describes it as“bohemian attitude, prints, and simple elegance.” Very rich hippy rock-star royalty fantasy life, with price tags to match, as the primary retailers for Allegra Hicks are Harrods and Harvey Nicks in the UK and Searle and Saks in the US, but a flagship store will be opening in Los Angeles later this year.