Preen presented a standout collection in Mac & Milk this morning, consisting of hand-beaded and hand-embroidered blouses, bright patterns that managed not to feel like retinal assaults, and navy eveningwear with severely sexy thigh-high skirt slits. "It came from the San Francisco craft movement," designer Justin Thornton told us backstage after the show. "Craft is not used to much in modern fashion — tapestry, embroidering, beading." Of the nicely done color blocking, he added, "We wanted it to almost clash in a way."
Diana Vreeland was another key figure on their inspiration board, which is carefully edited down as the collection comes together. "She wore lots of the European couture mixed with these outlandish prints — we really wanted to get at that feeling," Thornton explained. And many of the pieces that looked like they were layered — a sleeve with what looked like another sleeve over top, or a skirt with what looked like another skirt over top — were actually one piece, Thornton's design partner Thea Bregazzi explained. So you can have that complicated layered look without bothering with layering yourself (and the layered look has been going strong in the tents this Fashion Week — we heard one girl tell street-style photographers she was wearing three skirts today). "We try not to overthink it," Bregazzi said.