Kirrily Johnston: subtle strength

“Go model.”

That’s how Kirrily Johnston’s spring 2011 showing opened for me. One of the oddities about sitting next to the show’s producer is that you know precisely who is coming next. But not what.

And what came was strong. Strong but subdued. Strong but seldom overt.

Those qualities came together for a collection that saw pieces that all shared a visual strength, and if your wardrobe is one that is defined by looks that dominate without being ostentatious then Kirrily Johnston‘s spring / summer 2011 is likely to have something to tempt you.

That temptation will come in the guise of shapes that hang, each often following bell-shaped lines. Sometimes they were cut in a weight and shape that evoked thoughts of the apron made fashionable, its edges piped with leather. Other times the catwalk played host to much longer leathers, reminiscent of butchers’ aprons perhaps, their pockets and gold hardware adding to the visual weight.

You’ll note that themes of weight and strength are constantly returned to, for this is what Kirrily Johnston offered up. Not ‘warrior strong’ as we’ve seen from so many other designers of late, but a collection of pieces capable of visual impact without any of the typical head turning, eye-catching elements that weaker designers often turn to as a means of resting on their laurels.

Even where statement elements existed, their tonality, largely akin to the tones of Australia’s deserts, subdued any obviousness they might otherwise have had. Send a bead embellished shoulder down the catwalk in a gold and you’re doing what’s been done, send it in a copper tone and you’ve toned it down more then one notch, something that lets the entire piece to visually talk.

You can see all the photos of Kirrily Johnston’s spring / summer 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below.