>> Just after the blaringly strong lights went up at Preen, signalling the start of the show, a yell came from the photographer's pit — "Move out of the way!" — as someone scurried back to their seat. Luckily for said photographer, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi like to start their show out with a long stretch of music, building anticipation.
There would be no Preen without a multitude of cutout dresses — this time cut deep enough to reveal the side of a breast or a stretch of nude underwear — but the collection as a whole seemed to be built around the underwired bandeau bra. Turtlenecks (which have made appearances in a lot of shows so far) were cropped short to reveal the bandeau, floral dresses hung lose so that the bandeau could peek through, and some dresses had the bandeau built in over the top of draped fabric. There was also a more tailored element — likely thanks to a collaboration with Savile Row tailor Gieves and Hawkes. And Nicholas Kirkwood contributed the shoes.
But clothes aside, Preen is also watched for its cast — at a dinner post-show, the designers admitted they like showing in New York because they have access to top caliber models not available in London. Hanne Gaby Odiele seemed to be having fun on their runway: after her first turn, she squinted from the bright lights and cracked a small smile, and in the finale, she was smiling and clearly trying to hold back a laugh.