Monday 2nd March

| BY Dino Bonacic

Steve O Smith: Ready-to-wear AW20

With so many designers dedicated to warning us of the coming doomsday, it’s more than refreshing to see someone embracing the spirit that made us fall in love with fashion in the first place. The joy of dressing up and discovering clothes through fantasising about adulthood was the starting point for Steve O Smith’s latest collection. Intertwined with the folklore of fairies and childhood tales based on these mystical creatures, a traditional wardrobe of a working woman becomes a story of an eccentric woman on the prowl. Animal prints like cheetah spots and zebra stripes contrast against colourful feathers, slinky black satins and traditional tailoring fabrics such as houndstooth or pinstripes, subverting their meaning into a youthful approach to familiarity.

What stands out the most is Smith’s old-school love of a full look – everything matches from the top of the hats created in collaboration with Leo Carlton down to the shoes by Gina. In between comes a range of fun party frocks – some printed in pastel florals (illustrated by Benjamin Langford), others in innocent, yet psychedelic paintings of baby lambs (imagined by Alexandra Metcalf). Oh, and then there’s the Rose bags, adding a touch of surrealism to the inspired narrative of a brighter tomorrow. Even though the acronym of his name spells out SOS, it’s clear that Smith needs no help in making his vision a desirable plan for the future for all the party fairies out there – that’s us included. 

Photographs by Richard Dowker.