It was a happy mash-up of prints and color that met visitors to Duro Olowu's energetic Spring 2012 presentation Saturday night. Models twirled and vamped to a drum-beat soundtrack, onlookers frenetically snapped pictures, and the designer chatted with guests Anna Wintour and Bethann Hardison.
Inspired by the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue and the Jamaican immigrants who made their way to England in the '50s, there was a certain retro elegance to the collection — one that was made fresh by the Olowu's masterful cocktails of patterns, silhouettes, and fabrics. Floor-length frocks were topped with tuxedo blazers, large-scale ocelot met hot pink, and ruffled skirts in black and white colorblock were spiked with ditsy florals. According to Olowu, the modern-style irreverence was quite intentional. "Make it effortless without making it look dated . . . that’s what I thought would be important for the season," he explained.