Malan Breton, The Master Reborn
By Ross Pollard – Emerging Designers Editor
While I may be billed as the “emerging” designers editor, there are times when I get to go and see some of the doyens of the industry as well, and Malan Breton is one I never miss.
Last season gave us a different flavour from the designer, with a collection that was looking back across notes from his career in a retrospective of the 15th anniversary of his eponymous label and still found space for the red carpet chic so popular with fans of Breton in the Oscars dress worn by Tanisha Laverne Grant. What would we get this time?
What we got was Malan Breton 2.0, a rebirth of the designer now he’s settled into his London life, a groove hasn’t been returned to, this in keeping with a man who started his career as a signer and dancer is a new record, last season was the greatest hits, this was the bold new tour.
The trademark elements where there, the sumptuous ball gowns, the edging on aggressive at times tailoring of the dominant figures sent down the St Georges church runway, but there was a newness, a freshness to it that felt like a new energy had been found. Alongside the increasingly sustainable focus of the materials there were plays on metallic, patterns, and also at times a crafted looser feel to some of the garments that felt like a rebellion against the more form fitting looks within the collection.
It’s worth noting the styling which added to the story telling of the visions of grandeur and timelessness of the world Breton creates. This season internationally renowned stylist Rebekah Roy joined the team, and with her experience added a new precision to the looks and a swagger of confidently fabulous. A great addition to the team, and a collaboration that has much longer to run I’m sure.
It’s fair to say that while the fabrics were upcycled or recycled, Malan Breton is far from rehashing his work.
I interviewed Malan for a short magazine spotlight about eight or nine years ago, and he was very gracious to share his insights about Asian fashion with me. It’s very exciting to see his latest creations leaning toward classic taste, and not following the current throwaway trends that currently poison the industry!