Venice Beach and Palm Springs, Cali-summer time was everything for Danielle Romeril SS16.
Muted summer greens, blacks and whites were frayed, layered and woven in Danielle Romeril’s heading-on-holiday collection. The NEWGEN supported label has been on the LFW schedule for a fair few seasons now, and this presentation was a sharp offering from a designer who has a real knack for shapes and layers. Together, the looks were skillful constructions of oversized trousers, paneled tie-up cummerbunds, crop tops and sharp hemmed coats. A sheer monochrome check dress covered the shoulder and the knee, while a strapless paper thin black shift sat baggily atop it, the model holding her hands in the gigantic half moon pocket at the waist. Along with highly detailed sling back pool-sliders, with an almost rubber-feathered effect over the foot, the looks were a practical vision of summer dressing.
Palm Springs Eternal
Jackets, tops, trousers and skirts were all repeat-printed with spiky palms, which were at the real centre of the work – offering statement moments in an otherwise beautifully minimal collection. One sleeveless upper was particularly beautiful – with palms in dusty pink and powder green running into each other, while the fabric at the joins seemed to collide producing patches of fray sprouting from the garment. A kick hem skirt in racing green ran down the side, while the words ‘Paradise Lost’ in frayed radioactive green were appliquéd on the odd garment offering covetable, slightly ‘edgier’ moments. The collection was undoubtably really beautiful, skillfully constructed and super wearable. The inspirations for the work came from a series of photographs by Jackie Nickerson entitled ‘African Farmers’. The series itself is absolutely stunning, and you can really see the direct relationship between Nickerson and Romeril’s work here. However, being in a room full of super pricey garms on super gorgeous models, with people snapping away on their iPhones and fishing in their Proenza bags, feels a trillion miles away from ‘Paradise Lost’. The fact that the Paradise Lost vibes were borne out of these beautiful pictures feels rather reductive and misplaced yet again – which is, unfortunately, always the way when it comes to the fashion industry’s treatment of African culture. The Romeril girl would be far more at home wandering down Canon Drive in the LA Summer.
Words: Tom Rasmussen