Aquascutum

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Joanna Sykes' womenswear debut for Aquascutum was called English Icons, in reference to the label's long and illustrious outerwear history. Like Clare Waight Keller at Pringle of Scotland, another company dense with heritage, Sykes opted for a little light iconoclasm as her way in. She touched the classic bases—trenchcoat, field jacket, peacoat—but she toyed with proportion, layered things oddly, deconstructed, reconstructed. The collection had a slouchy, loose, tacked-together quality, like Sykes' argyle, which wasn't much more than a few squares of fabric loosely engaged with one another. Or a silk smock, whose pattern might have been a very abstract take on an Art Deco motif, which was peculiarly paired with a bonded leather gilet. A herringbone coat had a puffer shrug attached; the combination of the ultra-classic and hyper-sporty could be shaping up as Sykes' signature contribution to the collection. But she's going to have to turn down the volume. There were droop and bulk when there should have been snap and litheness. Still, that's what opening nights are for.


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