When Preen first veered from the tried-and-true formula of creating Power dresses with intricate construction designed to enhance your bestest assets, I thought to myself, "Oh, great. They're trying to be real designers now." All of a sudden there was all this print, all this colour blocking, all these mid-length skirts, and no more bandaged bodices. I feel like it's a great challenge for labels whose fame is built on one thing -- Herve Leger and the bandage dress, or Burberry and the trench. Some succeed in branching out (Burberry), others not so much (the other brand). Sort of like Jennifer Grey post-Dirty Dancing. You keep doing the same thing, and it's boring. You branch out too far (or change your nose too much), and nobody recognizes you anymore.
But looking at this new, improved Preen, I sense the same put-together construction techniques, the same sagacious usage of fabric panels stitched together, so it's like the Power dress, but not like it at all.
It's evident in the edgy florals presented above, the inky waterfalls after the jump, and the calculated and artfully clashing monochromes further below.
In other news, perhaps you knew that Preen's footwear is designed by Aldo for its Rise designer collaboration collection. Meaning these Jeffrey Campbell Lita-esque boots will be for sale at totally reasonable prices come Fall this year. So whether their signature techniques translate throughout the eras is still yet to be seen, but the fact that the footwear will be available at high-street prices is sure to create a buzz. Funny enough, I think the affordable-runway-footwear trend was first championed by Christian Siriano -- incidentally, another designer who's finding it difficult to shed first impressions.
Images: Style.com and Flare.com