Leonard- A Kenyan frontier in a Maasai dream…
Leonard Ready to Wear, Spring 2019 collection
Reading the press notes from the Leonard show held in the see-through tent erected behind the Ledoyen, I found that the inspiration for this collection was the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania.
– by Loanna Haseltine
Leonard Spring/Summer 2019 Monday, October 1st 2018 – Ledoyen Pavillon
This was explained as being “a childhood dream of hers.”-referring to the designer Christine Phung for the house.
So I wondered who is Ms. Phung? And why this dream? Of all the ones someone could have in a house known for its hothouse prints on clingy silk and jerseys? I seems a bit of a stretch from John Galliano’s tribal fantasy at Dior.
Besides winning oodles of awards in fashion and working at some pretty reputable houses, Phung is just really a great designer.
She knows what women want to wear and how they want to feel in their clothes. The style she creates through Leonard is not fussy or over wrought. It is easy, expressive and fluid.
She creates silhouettes that fit effortlessly into existing wardrobes. And a style that looks in its place at Leonard. She is not re-inventing the wheel, nor is she trying.
And that is not, nor ever has been, this house’s objective. It seems the perfect match.
So what does a Maasai tribal dream and John Galliano have to do with the Spring/ Summer collection at Leonard? Absolutely nothing!
Phung’s version of the theme this season was used more in artisanal technique, fabric prints and in color palate than a direct interpretation.
Sticking to the classic DNA of the house for a large segment of the offerings, the Maasai pieces did stick out from the rest without being garish.
Colors in ultra-marine with a heat-soaked rust brown, tangerine, peach and reds with tassels swinging were some of the highlights. Animal prints were rife. And it could not be a Maasai inspired collection without the traditional Maasai necklace.
This was interpreted in a Leonard printed fabric-covered rings used in peek-a-boo tops and other unexpected ways. Insets in sleeves with the shuka cloth weave or print were predominant. Additional offerings were a play on Africa with fresh safari looks mixed with animal or leafy prints.
There was a fabulous quilted silk wide-legged pantsuit in the traditional Leonard peony-print, which used instead the desert colors of the Maasai.
This bringing the gamut of the collection together.
Clients of this house will be feeling exotically pretty and looking at ease this spring in Leonard.
Leonard Ready to Wear, Spring 2019 collection – Photos