Joanne Hynes’ Hitchcock heroines

At times, London fashion week can be a bit of a gamble. For every Erdem or Burberry on the schedule – guaranteed to be grand, glossy productions chock full of desirable clothing – there’s a designer (not necessarily a rookie either) whose show is, at best, boring, or, at worst, displays a complete disregard for the fact that the ultimate aim of a fashion collection is for the clothes to be bought and worn.

On the other hand, every so often, there comes along an unexpectedly dazzling collection that reaffirms your faith in the schedulers’ abilities. For the spring 2012 season it was Central St. Martins trained Joanne Hynes who, for me, provoked such a reaction. Dazzling is precisely the word: this was a heady blend of coruscating fabrics, a bold colour story and eye-catching jewellery to boot.

Strains of Bernard Herrmann’s score from Psycho gave the first a clue to the Irish-born designer’s starting point for her fourteenth collection; the models’ hair (gently disheveled mousey blonde up-dos) provided the second. By the time the first couple of pencil skirts and seamed stockings had exited it was clear: these were Hynes’ very own Hitchcock heroines. In silhouette at least – the Tippi Hedren/Grace Kelly blueprint had in fact been given a slick, psychedelic makeover.

Ladylike classics were revamped by way of texture (those taut skirts were rendered in orange and lipstick red leather or all-over oblong sequins) and a rainbow’s worth of colour, including horizontal abstract prints in black, white and turquoise on clinging three-quarter sleeved dresses. Veering further still away from prim and preened territory, a yellow bra top made an appearance, and huge robot pendants hung over trapezoid tunics in metallic gold and silver.

When I was wilting after five solid days of fashion and more than a few drab catwalk deliveries, this playful, joyous collection was a welcome burst of joie de vivre.

For more photos of Joanne Hynes‘s spring / summer 2012 collection, click on the thumbnails above.