Jonathan Saunders Spring 2012

This past Wednesday in my Retail Principles class our instructor asked us to list a few of our favorite designers, brands, or stores. She collected our little pieces of paper and read off the rather obvious pattern of Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, and more Marc Jacobs...until she stopped at mine: Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui, and Jonathan Saunders. She admitted that she wasn't positive she even recognized Saunders' name, and wasn't he British? What's his signature, she asked. Had it not been 7:30 PM, one hour into my latest class of the week, I would have given her a more informative answer than "patterns and ombre," and a recap of his capsule collection for Target.

Jonathan Saunders is a traditionalist, at least in the design sense of the word. The young Scottish designer studied with a major in prints and textiles, so it was no surprise to learn each and every one of his prints for which he is known are created by hand. Even more incredibly, he builds each garment around its print which ensures that both the silhouette and design are each garment exist in perfect harmony.
His Spring 2012 collection took the concept of traditionalism one step further. Full patterned skirts that fell just below the knee and the most prim of frocks referenced the Mad Men era. Elegant baroque swirls in sweet sherbet ombre felt eponymous of spring. My personal favorite, while some considered them boring in comparison, was the small collection of flowing white dresses; I'd wear each one in a heartbeat. Another favorite look was an over-sized cardigan (layered over a powder blue brocade) in a bright fuchsia that, for the record, my grandpa would never wear. Elements of the most reserved sophistication were grounded by some scandalously sheer pieces. Each look was finished off with dramatically winged eyeliner (another personal favorite) and wrapped espadrilles in either stark white, solid black, or saturated primary hues. 

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